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A Flushing-based lawmaker’s push to provide certain small businesses with financial relief is still waiting for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s approval.

Proposed by Assemblyman Ron Kim, the bill would seek to alleviate the monetary burden placed on small businesses, including dry cleaners and nail salons, that must undergo capital improvements as required by federal, state and local regulations. The legislation would expand the existing Urban Development Corporation Act to make certain business owners eligible for grants and flexible financing programs to provide relief.

Small business owners face increasingly difficult economic and regulatory environment, according to Kim, as well as the burdens of complying with the most recent mandates. The lawmaker’s bill passed the state Assembly and Senate in June 2017.

On Dec. 6, Public Advocate Letitia James penned and delivered a letter to Cuomo expressing her support for the bill protecting small business owners, “the bedrock of New York’s economy.”

“Additionally, the diverse demographics of entrepreneurs, many [of] whom are immigrants, make our communities vibrant through these small businesses in New York,” James added in the letter.

The governor has until Dec. 18 to decide whether or not he will sign the bill into law, according to Kim.

“It is essential that after years of economic hardship and institutional neglect, we acknowledge the vital role small businesses play in our state’s economy,” Kim said. “Working-class entrepreneurs represent the heart of New York. I have done all that I can to ensure this bill’s passage, and now that it has been delivered to the governor’s desk, I hope those who support it will continue to do all they can to persuade him of its importance.”

Certain small business leaders and representatives have spoken out in favor of the legislation. Michael Gao, president of the Chinese American Nail Salon Association, said the bill was “extremely important.”

“Small businesses provide crucial services and represent real opportunities for working class people,” Gao said. “This bill will help entrepreneurs meet their regulatory responsibilities, including the latest mandates and regulations, while staying in business during difficult economic times.”

Business owners in the nail salon industry were recently given new state ventilation regulations under Governor Cuomo, Gao continued. The bill would help business owners who can’t get access to credit meet these requirements, he said.

“We have worked with Assemblyman Kim for nearly a year now to advocate for mom-and-pop dry cleaners who have been affected by new, burdensome regulations, and thanks to his efforts Public Advocate Letitia James has also given her official support for this measure,” said Sang Suk Park, president of the Korean American Dry Cleaners Association of New York. “The Assembly member has done his part in bringing us to this point, now we as a community must do what we can to seek the governor’s support.”

James, Kim and business leaders meet to discuss the bill

James, Kim and business leaders meet to discuss the bill

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