Small Business Owners Call for Immediate Support and Relief at Virtual Small Business Day

Date: March 17, 2022

Funding for UI to lower crushing taxes, small business tax relief among priorities at NFIB’s advocacy day

For Immediate Release

ALBANY, March 17, 2022 – More than 75 business leaders and small business owners from across New York met with elected officials virtually for NFIB’s Small Business Day. The event gave hardworking small business owners, who have weathered two years of economic pain, the opportunity to advocate face-to-face with lawmakers for much-needed relief and reforms that will jumpstart post-pandemic economic recovery and support the almost 500,000 small businesses in New York and their 4 million employees.

“New York’s small businesses and our state’s economy remain incredibly fragile,” said Ashley Ranslow, NFIB’s New York State Director. “There’s been no end in sight for our Main Street entrepreneurs who endured significant losses from COVID and are now battling historic labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, and out-of-control inflation. This is a pivotal juncture for the state, and small businesses owners are looking to Albany for significant relief. It’s imperative that New York State address the astronomical Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax bills afflicting small businesses by joining the 32 other states that have addressed their depleted UI systems. The time to act is now to begin addressing this crisis.”

NFIB’s Small Business Day is supported by more than 30 additional business advocacy associations, including regional chambers of commerce and statewide trade associations, who joined with small business owners from Buffalo to Long Island to meet with lawmakers. The key legislative priorities for the day included:

  • Allocating unspent federal pandemic aid and/or state revenues to address New York’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund crisis. Small business owners are paying the highest possible UI tax rates as New York State is more than $9 billion in debt to the federal government to satisfy millions of UI claims stemming from the pandemic. As long as New York remains in debt, small businesses will be burdened with sky-high tax bills and surprise assessments to pay the interest on New York’s debt.
  • Supporting much-needed and long-awaited small business tax relief. For years, small business owners have advocated for a small business tax cuts package that will provide structural tax relief to Main Street businesses. Small business owners are urging lawmakers to maintain the small business tax cuts included in the budget proposals.
  • Opposing mandates to electrify buildings by prohibiting gas heating systems and appliances in new residential, commercial, and mixed-use buildings. These mandates and bans will increase energy costs for small businesses and impact energy reliability as there is no plan to ensure the grid has enough power to handle the influx in demand for electricity.
  • Advocating for reforms to the state’s COVID sick leave law which does not have a sunset date. New York’s small businesses continue to struggle due to the COVID pandemic, while also facing severe labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, inflation, and higher UI taxes. Small businesses cannot continue to absorb the costs of COVID sick leave, especially now as federal relief has ended. Employers have shouldered the burden of providing COVID sick leave for nearly two years and are looking for certainty and guidance as to when this law will expire.
  • Calling for passage of A.8054/S.7374, legislation that would provide small businesses 60 days to correct any violations associated with website accessibility before an ADA-related lawsuit can commence. Small businesses are completely unaware that their websites may not be compliant with ADA requirements; therefore, they should be allowed to correct the problem before a devastatingly costly lawsuit is brought against them.

“Small, independent businesses have long called for small business tax relief. NFIB is thrilled to see a small business tax cuts package included in the budget proposal. This is sorely needed,” said Ranslow. “Costs continue to rise, and administrative burdens are piling up, making New York even more unaffordable and holding back the small business economy.”

NFIB’s February SBET survey reports that 26 percent of small business owners indicate inflation as their single most important problem, the highest readings since the third quarter of 1981. According to NFIB’s COVID-19 Small Business Survey, 66 percent of small business owners anticipate economic recovery will not return until the second half of 2022 or later.

NFIB is proud to have the generous support of its 2022 sponsors, including:

American Chemistry Council

Upstate United

Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care

Highmark, Northeaster New York and Highmark, Western New York

Associated General Contractors of New York State

Capital Region Chamber

New York State Economic Development Council

New York State Builders Association

Trucking Association of New York

Associated Builders & Contractors, Empire State

Greater Rochester Chamber

Amherst Chamber of Commerce

Food Industry Alliance of New York State, Inc.

New York Association of Convenience Stores

Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce


Organizations joining NFIB for New York Small Business Day include:

American Chemistry Council

Amherst Chamber of Commerce

Associated Builders & Contractors, Empire State

Associated General Contractors of New York State

Buffalo Niagara Partnership

Capital Region Chamber

Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce

Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce

Commerce Chenango

Empire Center

Employer Alliance for Affordable Health

Food Industry Alliance of New York State

Fulton Montgomery Chamber of Commerce

Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce

Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce

Greece Regional Chamber of Commerce

Highmark, Northeastern New York and Highmark, Western New York

Long Island Association


New York Association of Convenience Stores

New York Farm Bureau

New York State Builders Association

New York State Economic Development Council

New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association

Orange County Chamber of Commerce

Seneca County Chamber of Commerce

The Business Council of New York State

The Business Council of Westchester

The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York

Trucking Association of New York

Upstate United

Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce


NFIB is the voice of small business, advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners in Washington, D.C., and all 50 state capitals. NFIB is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven. Since our founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses, and remains so today. For more information, please visit

Related Content: Small Business News | New York

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