New York 2021 Small Business Day – Wrap Up Article

Date: March 25, 2021

New York Small Businesses Raise Concerns Over Unemployment Insurance and taxes, Legislature Supports Small Business Grants


NFIB’s New York office held a two-day virtual Small Business Day to raise awareness about the issues that matter most to small businesses as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The key priority issues included supporting budget proposals that would deliver grants to small businesses, opposing costly and burdensome mandates related to airborne infectious diseases that would lead to frivolous lawsuits, requesting Albany lawmakers to address the state’s unemployment insurance (UI) and UI rate increases, and opposing new or expanded taxes in the budget.






“As small businesses look towards recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, New York’s lawmakers need to focus on providing relief, not adding additional tax burdens or regulations. Our message to Albany was clear – do no harm and New York’s small businesses will do what they do best, create jobs and opportunities for our communities,” said Greg Biryla, NFIB’s New York Sr. State Director.


One of the bills highlighted during Small Business Day, S.1034-A/A.2681-A, would require employers to implement strict and costly measures to prevent exposure to airborne illnesses beyond COVID-19 and the current pandemic. The legislation also allows employees to sue employers for alleged noncompliance, creating a new avenue for frivolous lawsuits against small businesses.


NFIB member and owner Laura Lucia of Lucia Specialized Hauling in Delanson, NY voiced her concerns over the legislation known as the NY HERO Act, “Small business has been under emergency power control and we are now ramping back up. We don’t need more burdensome restrictions. My business, trucking, the competitors are in 48 other states. How does a business like mine even comply with such a non-flexible regulation? We can be sued over alleged airborne infectious disease violations beyond COVID. We visit job sites and warehouses in 48 states, we can’t control everyone. Common sense tells us that small businesses don’t want to have sick employees. We don’t need another burdensome regulation to restrict us as we are coming back.”


NFIB, small businesses, and business community advocates also pressed Senators and Assembly Members to address the unemployment insurance trust fund sooner than later.


“Countless businesses were devastated by the pandemic. State ordered shutdowns and severe business restrictions forced many employers to lay-off employees – resulting in millions of unemployment claims. While the Governor, Senate, and Assembly all worked to freeze unemployment experience ratings earlier this year, this is only a piece of the unemployment insurance puzzle. New York State is about to receive more than $22 billion in state and local funding from the federal government. Our message today is that the state should use a portion of those funds to replenish the completely depleted Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund,” said Ashley Ranslow, NFIB Assistant State Director in New York.


NFIB urges small business owners to continue the Small Business Day conversation by reaching out to their elected officials on our priorities. Take action here!

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