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OPINION

Palmesano: ‘Jump-Start New York’ is what our economy needs

The Chronicle Express

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) and his colleagues in the Assembly Minority Conference are unveiling “Jump-Start New York: A Plan for Economic Recovery,” which will be a plan aimed at restoring New York’s faltering economy.

“It is critically important that the governor and Legislature work together to take bold and aggressive action to open up our state's economy and provide much-needed assistance and relief for the many small businesses, farmers, manufacturers, workers and families who have been crushed by the governor's state-mandated COVID-19 closures, shutdowns and restrictions. It is imperative that we jump-start our state's economy now and get people back to work. As I have continued to say, it's important to remember that COVID-19 is not just a public health crisis, it is an economic crisis which requires immediate and decisive action by the state to provide critical assistance and relief to those who have been so negatively impacted,” said Palmesano.

Palmesano and the Assembly Minority Conference are advocating for the following proposals in the plan:

· Limiting the governor’s expanded powers and increasing local authority during future emergencies;

· Implementing the “NY Business Emergency Relief Act of 2021” to direct all unallocated settlement funds and any further settlement money to business relief purposes;

· Utilizing Regional Economic Development Councils for disaster recovery instead of general economic development purposes;

· Repurposing and utilizing capital programs like those from state and municipal facilities, special infrastructure, the New York Works Economic Development Fund and START-UP NY;

· Implementing a 180-day “regulatory amnesty” period to allow small businesses to remedy violations without being subjected to fines or penalties;

· Establishing the Division of Regulatory Review & Economic Growth (DRREG) to establish a framework to reduce regulatory burdens on businesses;

· Providing a tax credit to landlords for any loss of rental income due to actions taken to suspend rent as a result of COVID-19;

· Increasing rural internet accessibility to ensure equality in access to telehealth, remote learning and work-from-home capabilities; and

· Supporting New York farmers and agricultural businesses by loosening regulatory expenses and requirements, broadening eligibility standards for funding and expanding markets to foster greater opportunities to move their products.

The Jump-Start report provides several sobering statistics for small business owners in the current COVID-19 climate. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) recently completed a survey that said 22% of small business owners anticipate not being able to operate further within the next 7-12 months due to current economic conditions. The New York Farm Bureau also conducted a survey in which they state 65% of our state’s farms and agribusinesses have felt a negative effect from the pandemic.

“The economic and business climate in New York was already challenging for businesses before COVID-19 arrived due to costly and burdensome tax and regulatory policies. These damaging policies have hindered the economic development and private-sector investment which is critically needed for business growth and job creation. Unfortunately, this damage has been compounded even further by the state-mandated closures, shutdowns and restrictions, which is why it is imperative that the governor and Legislature aggressively and decisively act now to adopt our common-sense blueprint to help jump-start and revitalize our businesses and state economy,” said Palmesano.