State Senator Pam Helming is voicing frustration after a proposal to aid small businesses was shot down by Democrats in the legislature.
Last week, Sen. Helming and her colleagues proposed an amendment to aid struggling small business owners, who now face increased unemployment insurance rates after government forced business shutdowns resulted in layoffs.
The amendment would have excluded claims from an employer’s unemployment insurance experience rating charges contribution if an employee’s unemployment arose from the COVID-19 pandemic. When more employees collect benefits, the higher the contribution is from the business.
Unemployment in New York now stands at 14.5% statewide, according to New York Department of Labor statistics for April. It is as high as 19.2% in the Buffalo-Niagara region.
“Whether it’s agriculture, manufacturing, main street retail stores, healthcare, education, local government, or our important tourism industry, every sector has been hit hard by the COVID pandemic. Local businesses are at or past their breaking point and this week in Albany, the Senate Majority did nothing to ease their burdens. Instead, the Majority voted against an amendment that would have reduced unemployment insurance costs for job creators. Instead of providing assistance to allow small businesses to more easily get back up and running, the Majority is talking about more taxes and mandates. If we want NY to safely open back up for business, then we must lead by example and enact common sense reforms that reduce the cost of operating here so companies can get their employees back on the job, grow and succeed,” added Sen. Helming.