Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Small Business Committee Chair Mark Weprin today announced, in celebration of tomorrow's Small Business Day, passage of a comprehensive eleven-bill legislative package aimed at helping small businesses be competitive, productive and profitable in New York State.
"Our small business community contributes to the economic vitality of New York State as our number one source of employment. This legislative package aims to not only help our state's small businesses stay competitive in this tough economy, but will also strengthen our state overall," said Silver (D-Manhattan). "Small businesses continue to be the backbone of our economy and provide essential benefits, investments and employment opportunities to communities across our state. The Assembly Majority is committed to making sure these businesses continue to grow, thrive and contribute to the vibrancy of New York's communities."
"Small business is the driving force that fuels New York State's economy. In this package we have taken great steps to ensure small business can remain profitable and successful during this time of economic hardship. I am committed to continuing our work in the Assembly to enhance these businesses by giving them access to resources they need to grow and expand in our state. The more we can do to establish a stronger, more competitive small business environment, the stronger our state will become," said Weprin (D-Queens).
A key goal of the Assembly package is the creation of a micro business outreach center to provide firms that employ less than five employees with the knowledge and tools they need to be competitive. Under the bill (A.3193/Weprin), individuals without access to traditional sources of finance could access the centers for information about business plans, loan programs and how to operate a business.
The Assembly small business measure includes an effort that would address the rising cost of energy to help small businesses become more energy-efficient. The bill would establish zero and low-interest-loan programs for energy improvement projects which could stimulate growth and create more job opportunities (A.3945/Weprin).
Other bills in the Assembly's package would:
Provide state assistance to aid in the expansion of small businesses through the Small Business Regional Revolving Loan Program (A.3384/Weprin);
Establish a competitive grant program for small businesses to seek new markets and niche products and work with small manufacturers to identify and develop these markets and products (A.4550/Towns);
Provide start-up and expansion funding for not-for-profit sponsors of small-scale food processing facilities to foster entrepreneurship, job development and community revitalization (A.4166/Cook); and
Require deferred installment payment plans be offered to small businesses for telephone service installation, initiation and nonrecurring maintenance charges (A.2928/Koon).
Establish entrepreneurship assistance centers, primarily for minorities, women, individuals with disabilities and dislocated workers (A.4459/Weprin);
Establish a procedure requiring state agencies and authorities to submit a plan to include more participation of minority-owned and women-owned businesses on state contracts (A.4810/Brodsky);
Improve outreach efforts of the Department of Economic Development's (DED) Divisions for Small Business and Minority and Women's Business Development (A.4097/Millman);
Require New York agencies to post contractor utilization plans on their web sites to ensure Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) members get the work promised to them (A.4092/Millman); and
Improve the MWBE program by encouraging joint ventures, partnerships and mentor-protégé relationships between prime contractors and minority- and women-owned business enterprises, as well as evaluating the effective implementation of the MWBE program (A.4168/Cook).