Small Business Day Promotes Six-Point Agenda

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 17, 2013

Small Business Day Promotes Six-Point Agenda

Entrepreneurs and business leaders travel to Albany in an effort to strengthen New York State’s economy

ALBANY, NY – Small business owners and business leaders from across the state assembled in Albany today to participate in Small Business Day. The effort, led by the National Federation of Independent Businesses of New York, focused on a six-point legislative agenda of the challenges faced by the state’s 2 million small businesses.

More than 50 Small Business Day participants met with legislative representatives to discuss the following six-point agenda:

• Scaffold Law Reform
A3104 (Morelle)/S111 (Gallivan)

• Wage Theft Prevention Act
A2482 (Gabryszak)/S2313 (DeFrancisco)

• Unfunded Mandate Reform Act
A3106 (Morelle) / S4094 (O’Brien)

• Liquefied Natural Gas Storage and Transportation Exemption
A4202 (Camara)/S119A (Maziarz)

• Out-of-Network Health Care Coverage
A5216 (Gottfried)

• Healthcare Quality Cost Containment Commission to review healthcare mandates

Representatives from several business organizations called on elected officials to focus on the six-point agenda and work with the business community to strengthen the state’s struggling economy.

“Small Business Day represents a tremendous opportunity, putting our collective members in front of lawmakers discussing many of the top issues facing small business in this state. The need for significant regulatory reform and cost reductions on small business are of paramount importance for New York’s economic future. Today ‘Main Street’ has their voice heard in Albany and I hope that legislators are listening,” said Mike Durant, NFIB/NY State Director. “The focus of the days that remain this legislative session need to return to helping improve New York’s economic climate and Small Business Day represents our collaborative push on these issues.”
“Small businesses are the foundation of New York’s local economies, and we need to do more to create an environment that enables them to thrive. The path to a full fiscal recovery starts with lowering taxes and eliminating regulatory burdens on the small business owners and entrepreneurs who generate jobs, bolster our tax base and provide much-needed goods and services,” said Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb. “I am proud to join the business community on Small Business Day to recognize New York’s hard-working men and women whose efforts enable communities and small businesses to flourish.”

“Small businesses are the backbone of New York’s economy. I am proud to have partnered with NFIB NY on many key issues to help our small businesses, including the roll back of the onerous MTA Payroll Tax. I look forward to continuing to work with NFIB to find ways to reduce the cost of business in New York, provide more regulatory relief to help small businesses grow and create jobs,” said Senator Lee Zeldin.

“Across Upstate New York, small businesses are struggling to keep their doors open and employees on the payroll,” said Brian Sampson, executive director of Unshackle Upstate. “The six-point Small Business Day agenda, which includes regulatory and mandate relief, will help employers and local officials when they need it the most. After increasing the minimum wage and extending an energy surcharge, our leaders in Albany must act now to improve the state’s business climate before more job creators and hardworking families look elsewhere for better economic opportunities.”

“Small Business Day is an important annual event, when we remind legislators that small business have enormous potential for growth, but needs relief from the layers of compliance burdens imposed by New York State,” said Business Council president Heather Briccetti. “We are asking for legislative action on a reform package that will reduce costs, provide new opportunities for investment and job creation, and allow small business owners to focus on their core business objectives.”

“Too often, people overlook family farms as small businesses that are critical to job creation and economic growth in rural communities in upstate New York and Long Island,” said Dean Norton, president of New York Farm Bureau. “We are proud to be a part of the Small Business Day effort that promotes regulatory relief and a better economic climate for our members who are struggling under the burden of high production costs and taxes. With the help of New York’s lawmakers, we can grow our state’s farms and, in turn, our economy.”

“The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is pleased to be participating in Small Business Day in Albany this year,” said Partnership president and CEO Andrew Rudnick. “After the passage of a disappointing budget, the Partnership is hopeful that the Governor and Legislature will finally address much needed mandate relief and business regulatory reforms that continue to make New York State a difficult place to do business.”

“Rochester Business Alliance, and its affiliate the Small Business Council of Rochester, are encouraged that lawmakers still have time left in the legislative session to take action and address the mandates and regulations that keep New York businesses from being competitive,” said Chris Wiest, vice president of public policy and advocacy, Rochester Business Alliance. “Small businesses make up more than 80 percent of Rochester Business Alliance membership and employ the majority of the state’s workforce, so Small Business Day in Albany presents a critical opportunity to meet face-to-face with legislators to discuss what is needed to help employers grow and prosper.”

“The health and well-being of small business is vitally important to the economic vitality of our region. Small business is the heart of the Greater Binghamton economy and many have endured the ups and downs of an economic recession as well as the devastating impacts of natural disasters in recent years,” said Lou Santoni, president and CEO of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce. “Small Business Day is an important function of what we do to address issues that affect more than seventy percent of our membership. It is essential that New York provide some key regulatory relief on a number of costly mandates such as the Wage Theft Prevention Act and Scaffold Law. Reform in these areas would go a long way in demonstrating that New York understands the needs of small business.”

“The Scaffold Law is one of the last symbols of New York’s anti-business climate,” said Tom Stebbins, executive director of Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York. “Nowhere else in the world has absolute liability for gravity-related injuries, and until it is reformed or repealed, New York cannot be considered ‘Open for Business’.”

“Health plans in New York recognize that insurance costs continue to be a top priority of small employers, and are working with the state to ensure small businesses have affordable options on the new Health Benefits Exchange,” said Leslie Moran, senior vice president of the New York Health Plan Association. “The annual Small Business Day not only highlights employers’ concerns and the ongoing efforts to respond to them, but also gives us the opportunity to enlist lawmakers’ support of initiatives to keep health coverage affordable in the face of rising health care costs.”

New York is poised for success in small businesses except for one key element – government that wants us here,” said Eric Carlson, president and CEO of the Empire State Forest Products Association. “We have abundant forests, close to customers, great workforce, access to export markets – we simply need a government that works with us to find reforms that make bottom line sense to our businesses and our workforce.”

“Small businesses make a big contribution to this state’s economy,” said Larry Teal, chair of The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care. “Health insurance costs are a primary concern among our members, but we also recognize that health insurance is one of several significant issues that inhibit the New York State business climate. At Small Business Day, we can collectively raise awareness to key business obstacles, but more important, have a chance to discuss realistic, workable solutions.”

“Schenectady County businesses employ more than 52,000 people with a payroll of more than $2 billion dollars. We look forward to meeting with our legislators in hopes they will help us with issues that affect our members and our local economy,” said Charles Steiner, president of the Chamber of Schenectady County.

ABOUT THE BUFFALO NIAGARA PARTNERSHIP
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is the region’s private sector economic development organization and regional chamber of commerce, representing nearly a quarter of a million employees in the Buffalo Niagara region. The Partnership’s work has three main focuses: advocacy, business development and convening. By mobilizing members and strategic partners around common goals, the Partnership grows private investment and jobs in Buffalo Niagara.


For Press Inquiries, Please Contact Grant Loomis, Vice President, Government Affairs at gloomis@thepartnership.org or 716-541-1736