Improving Our State's Business Climate

The impact of the pandemic and the state’s response has been profound. The Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that just between April and June, New York’s GDP declined by 36.3 percent. Alarmingly, an April preliminary economic impact assessment released by the Division of Budget estimated $243 billion in total economic losses in New York state over the course of the full recovery.

We don’t need staggering statistics to tell us this. We know from our unemployed or furloughed neighbors. I know from working with the many small business owners in my district as we tried to seek clarity and relief from the governor’s tight restrictions on businesses during reopening. They have shared with me how creative they have been and how they’ve had to become quick studies of new regulations and federal relief programs. They are exhausted. Yet they press on and roll with whatever the day has handed to them to give their employees and themselves a livelihood.

Immediate action needed to be taken, and I am proud the Legislature, in bipartisan cooperation, stood behind our small business community. I voted with my colleagues to assist small businesses with loans and grants to equip and remodel businesses to prevent the spread of disease (S.8181-A) and supported development and growth by allowing local governments the option to extend building and contract permits by 120 days (S.8236-A). I also helped to craft the Small Business Emergency Recovery Act of 2020 which would direct state and federal funds to small businesses and adjust regulations to the benefit of small businesses (A.10266) as well as legislation to create a coronavirus pandemic small business and not-for-profit loan program (A.10208).

We can, as best as possible, develop emergency relief programs for small businesses, but the sad truth is that, as I discussed in my column last week,  New York was not well positioned for recovery from major economic disruptions, such as the governor’s pandemic lockdown, in the first place. State government for decades has been thirsty for more and more tax revenue and hungry for regulatory control over even the most mundane aspects of business operations. The state’s penchant for overreach has placed New York year after year at the near bottom, if not the bottom, of several lists ranking state business climate and economic outlook. 

It has long been my passion to improve our business climate so that our main street remains vibrant and teaming with family-owned businesses and that good paying jobs can provided in manufacturing, tech and trades. Here are some of the items I have proposed and have been championing over my tenure:

·         Work-NY tax credits for businesses hiring currently unemployed individuals (A.6652);

·         Invest-NY would provide a property tax credit to all businesses and a series of tax credits to encourage investment (A.4680);

·         GrowNY would establish a pilot program to provide technical assistance to expand business in the state (A.4250);

·         Small Business Full Employment Act would offer a series of targeted tax credits to help improve and grow jobs across all sectors (A.4553);

·         The Cornerstone and Discovery Programs would promote new and existing manufacturing, high-tech, bio-tech, clean-tech and agribusiness (A.4300);

·         Manufacturing Preservation and Enhancement Act creates a tax incentive program to boost manufacturing jobs (A.5332) and another bill would phase out the job-killing franchise tax for manufacturers (A.5165);

·         Improve shortfall of skilled labor in New York by establishing the Learning for Work Program to encourage youth apprenticeships, create an enhanced professional high school diploma, and a tax credit for participating employers (A.4255) and provide a credit on the job-killing corporate franchise tax for employee training (A.5244) ;

·         BizBoom Program Act would provide a tax exemption for new businesses in the state while meeting specified criteria (A.4248);

·         Creation of “Innovator Corps,” a research group within the executive department to identify and encourage the growth of technology businesses (A.4176);

·         Establish division of regulatory review and economic growth to assess regulation and permit requirements on businesses (A.4112);

·         Establish a tax credit for alternate energy systems and generating equipment (A.2635);

·         Place a moratorium on unfunded mandates which drive the cost of property taxes (A.3494).

Good economic policy is ultimately about people, our families, neighbors and communities. I am proud of my long record of standing up for small business owners and other job creators in various important sectors of our economy.

It’s not just a matter of policy differences. It’s real life. Make no mistake, our economy is still stuck.  Thousands of people remain out of work across our state. Thousands of businesses are still shuttered. I’m calling on my legislative colleagues and the governor to return to Albany and get to work on legislation that improves our state’s business climate so we can get our economy moving forward in a sustainable way.

What do you think? I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, email me at kolbb@nyassembly.gov, or find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook.  

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published this page in LATEST NEWS 2020-10-16 16:48:28 -0400
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