By Gina Martinez
Lawmakers and small business advocates are celebrating the passage of a bill that extends loans to smaller businesses.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill sponsored by state Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) and state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Manhattan) that requires the small business revolving loan fund already in place to issue a certain percentage of its remaining principal to micro loans and micro seed loans.
State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing); John Choe, executive director of the Flushing Chamber of Commerce; and local small business leaders also worked hard to push this bill. The law will give small businesses greater access to small loans and seed funding.
At a news conference last week the lawmakers claimed that in the current economic environment, mom-and-pop stores and neighborhood shops lack financial capital to compete with large corporations, making this bill a necessity.
Kim said he sponsored the bill because he believes it will greatly benefit his district, where the heart of the economy is small businesses owned by immigrants. The new law will allow for micro loans of up to $25,000 to go to the often ignored small “small businesses,” those with five or fewer employees.
“I would like to thank Gov. Cuomo, Sen. Squadron, and my fellow lawmakers who supported this bill, as well as the community leaders that stood with us,” he said. “This represents an important step in our efforts to better support everyday small businesses, whose struggles to achieve the American Dream epitomize the story of our state and country.”
Stavisky’s and Kim’s districts include a large population of immigrant small business owners. Stavisky said she is excited about the passage of the measure.
“Small business owners keep our economy strong and we must do all that we can to help them succeed,” she said. “The signing of this bill re-establishes our commitment to small business owners, particularly within immigrant communities, allowing them the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. This investment into our immigrant business owners will benefit the state many times over in the form of improving the economy and taxes paid to the state.”
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