Governor Kathy Hochul has announced a new Billion Dollar Rescue Plan for small businesses as part of the 2022 State of the State. Small businesses, accounting for 98 percent of all businesses statewide, are the backbone of New York's economy and under the Governor's plan, the state will be supporting these entities through a variety of initiatives focusing on growing the businesses of the future, helping new businesses struggling to establish themselves and providing tax relief. Additionally, to support New York's restaurant industry, a sector that has especially been hit hard by COVID-19, the Governor will introduce legislation to permanently allow the sale of to-go drinks for bars and restaurants statewide.
"New York's comeback depends on the recovery and success of our small businesses," Governor Hochul said. "Since the pandemic hit, small business owners have been struggling with unprecedented challenges. New York is here with a simple message: help is on the way."
As a former small business owner, Governor Hochul understands the challenges facing small businesses, even in the best of times. Governor Hochul is also acutely aware of how the pandemic has tested small businesses throughout New York, and what is needed in this moment to support the recovery of our small businesses.
To help small businesses at this critical moment, Governor Hochul's Billion Dollar Rescue Plan will include targeted programs strategically designed to respond to small business needs, and to ensure that disadvantaged, minority-owned, and women-owned small businesses prosper throughout the State.
The Billion Dollar Rescue Plan includes:
- Funding for Small Businesses of the Future: This initiative will support venture capital and venture debt awards to fast-growing, venture-backed startups that either locate to, or remain and grow in, New York State. This funding will assist emerging small businesses in the innovation sector, including minority- and women-owned companies often overlooked by private-sector venture investments. Through this program, New York State will continue to be the center of innovation and small business growth.
- The Small Business COVID Capital Investment Tax Credit: This initiative will provide a tax credit to small businesses which took on COVID-related capital expenses, including retrofits, renovations, machinery and equipment related to COVID safety enhancements.
- Seed Funding for Small Businesses: This initiative will provide flexible grants to early-stage small businesses to help those that recently opened get off the ground, despite the COVID pandemic. Priority will be given to socially and economically disadvantaged small business owners.
- Small Business Lending Initiative: This initiative will provide reduced interest rates and accessible loans to expanding small businesses. As part of this effort, this initiative will seek to address disparities in the traditional loan market, which oftentimes precludes small businesses, particularly socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses, from accessing loans to grow their businesses or take on larger government contracts.
- The Excelsior Contracting Opportunities Initiative - This initiative will provide state-backed funding and technical assistance to position small businesses — particularly those which are socially and economically disadvantaged — to secure federally funded contracts related to the $1.2 trillion federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This initiative will also include the establishment of an interagency Excelsior Contracting Opportunities Council — including Empire State Development, the State Department of Transportation, the Thruway Authority, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey — to identify strategies to encourage greater minority- and women-owned small business participation in forthcoming federally funded infrastructure projects across the State.
- Permanently Legalize the Sale of To-Go Drinks for Bars and Restaurants: To-go drinks were a critical revenue stream for New York's bars and restaurants during the pandemic, helping many small businesses across the state pay their rents or mortgages. Governor Hochul will permanently allow for the sale of to-go drinks for off-premises consumption to continue supporting the recovery of bars and restaurants.
Governor Hochul will also provide $100 million in tax relief for 195,000 small businesses by widening eligibility and increasing a tax return adjustment that reduces a small business's gross business income.