Sound Response To Coronavirus Requires Emergency Aid For Small Businesses And Their Employees

The coronavirus is an unprecedented threat to our public health system. We’re taking such aggressive measures to combat the spread of the virus because we know how important it is to protect the healthy and safety of all New Yorkers, particularly our most vulnerable populations.

It’s also important to recognize that the very actions we’re taking to control the outbreak- social distancing, working from home, limiting crowds and closing businesses- represent an unprecedented threat to our economic health.

Just as we’ve adopted decisive measures to protect public health, state government must take immediate, emergency action to protect our small businesses and their employees. Small business owners employ half of our state’s workforce. 99% of all firms in the state are small businesses. We desperately want individuals who have been stricken with this horrible disease to make a full recovery without infecting others.

We also want them to have a job to come back to.

Our Assembly Republican Conference has a plan. This week, we released our Small Business Recovery Act of 2020. It’s a detailed, targeted package that would infuse small businesses with needed capital, provide emergency loans, waive fees and cut costs.

The Small Business Recovery Act would:

-Immediately direct the state’s settlement reserve fund of $890 million to small businesses;

-Create a 0% interest loan program dedicated to helping small businesses meet their payroll commitments;

-Repurpose available tax credits to help the needs of the state’s existing small businesses;

-Use all economic development discretionary funding for existing small businesses within New York State;

-Move tax deadlines for remittance, business tax and personal income tax ahead 180 days;

-Suspend all regulatory fees on small businesses for 180 days; and

-Suspend the plastic bag ban for grocery stores for 180 days.

My Assembly Republican colleagues and I understand that, across the state, small businesses are the backbone of our communities. That’s why we’ll be fighting so hard to pass the Small Business Recovery Act. In the meantime, I’d like to ask each of you for a favor. If you’re able, please support a small business in your community during this difficult time. Order takeout from a locally-owned restaurant. Buy a gift card from a shop on Main Street. Remember, we’re all in this together.  

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