Budget proposal offers benefits for hard hit businesses and workers
By DANIEL J. HEITZENRATER
President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce
Each year New York State begins the budget process with a proposal from the Governor. Almost every year the proposal is a mixed bag for the business community – containing both some benefits and challenges for businesses of all sizes. As other organizations such as The Business Council have pointed out, this year we are pleased to see more direct benefits planned for small businesses that have been especially hard hit during the pandemic.
Governor Kathy Hochul has outlined a $216 billion budget for fiscal year 2023 that calls for providing tax relief by increasing the small business subtraction modification from 5 to 15 percent of net business or farm income and expanding the benefit to include entities with less than $1.5 million in gross income. Up to $250 million in additional relief to small businesses is also included as part of a COVID-19 plan, aimed at covering capital investments such as expanding space to accommodate social distancing, upgrading HVAC equipment, outdoor space expansions, and machinery and equipment to facilitate contactless sales.
In addition, the executive budget calls for $1.2 billion in state support for healthcare workers, with up to $3,000 bonuses for full-time workers who remain in their positions for a year as well as $500 million in cost-of-living adjustments for human services employees. These employee groups have been especially hard hit and the state’s recognition of their efforts is important in order to maintain a quality healthcare workforce going forward.
A five-year capital projects plan that would make much-needed infrastructure investments in roads and bridges is also a positive move for the state’s economy, as is an acceleration of the middle-class tax cut that would be fully implemented two years earlier than originally planned. Additional school aid and investments in the State University of New York will also go a long way towards helping to build a future workforce that will be sorely needed, as this region of the country continues to see population declines and accelerated retirements.
Overall, we see a number of positive proposals in the Governor’s budget. Many of these programs will be funded through additional federal aid to states that is a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We fully expect the state legislature to put its own stamp on the budget for the fiscal year that begins April 1, and the devil is always in the details. But this is a good starting point for a state budget plan that is focused on rebuilding an economy and a workforce that has been damaged over almost two full years now.
TUESDAY TALKS: BUSINESS SUCCESS PLANNING IS FEBRUARY 8
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is planning its next Tuesday Talks event around the topic of business succession planning. When an individual or a family starts a business, they expect to keep it functioning beyond their initial operating plan. But selling that business, and sometimes even transferring it to the next generation in a family, can come with some challenges.
The Chamber has enlisted participation from the Small Business Development Center at Jamestown Community College and Alliance Advisory Group for on this important panel discussion. All local businesspeople are invited to attend this free online event. Tuesday Talks is a series of informational discussions designed to cover a wide variety of topics that may meet the needs of local businesses.
This event will be held online at 8:30am, Tuesday, February 8. It is sponsored by OBSERVER and The Post-Journal. Please register in advance through the Chamber’s web calendar at www.chautauquachamber.org
DOORS OPEN JAMESTOWN IS MARCH 5
We hope the entire community will save the new date for Doors Open Jamestown – Saturday, March 5. The Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce has delayed the event from its usual January time slot, in order to allow participating venues to more safely invite groups of guests. Some of the attractions will require pre-registration. A full list of participating attractions will be announced shortly.
Doors Open Jamestown is an opportunity for local residents to be a tourist right here in our hometown as it offers a free day at local museums and attractions. After moving the event to an online only video montage last year, we have determined to hold it in-person this year. Please save the new date: March 5, 2022, from 10am-4pm, and watch for details to be announced for our new text-to-win Doors Open Jamestown contest for that day.
MAYVILLE WINTER FESTIVAL SEEKS VOLUNTEERS, SPONSORS
The Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce is busily working on the 2022 Mayville Winter Festival, scheduled for President’s Day Weekend, February 18-20 at Lakeside Park. There are still spots available for potential sponsors, vendors, and volunteers.
If you would like to assist in any way with this outstanding local event, please contact Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber Coordinator Shannon Biekarck at email@example.com.
To stay up to date on the Mayville Winter Festival, watch their page on Facebook or keep an eye on the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce calendar online at www.chautauquachamber.org.