Elected Officials Unveil New Agenda for Small Businesses

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, State Senator Jim Gaughran and Assemblyman Steve Stern stood outside Bon Bons Chocolatier in Huntington on Monday to unveil a series of state legislative proposals that are meant to help increase support for small businesses on Long Island.

“We need to start moving forward with this business friendly agenda,”  Stern said, “And promote local businesses to thrive.”

The business-friendly agenda, which will be up for consideration when the State Legislature re-convenes in January, has several proposals, including: a small business income tax exemption expansion; a New York State innovation voucher program; reduction in commuting costs and business expenses through tax incentives; small business tax-deferred savings account programs; and the future of a work commission to study and research the impact of technology on workers, employers and the state economy.

“I always strongly believed that it’s our obligation to listen and address problems,” Stern said. “We want to create opportunities for generations to come.”

These incentives will attempt to retain the region’s existing small businesses, while attracting new ones through a combination of tax incentives, collaborations and research.

“The concerns of our local businesses are being heard,” Gaughran said, “And now they can thrive.”

Bon Bons is a local family-owned business known for their candies and homemade chocolates at 319 Main Street and has been a staple to the downtown Huntington community for 40 years.

“Huntington is one of the greatest downtowns in the state,” Bellone said, “Bon Bons is an incredibly successful small business that’s multi-generational and keeps bringing people back and we in government need to support small business.”

Bon Bons owner Mary Alice Meinersman and her family, joined the elected officials and members of the local chambers of commerce and business advocacy groups, including representatives from the Long Island Association, Long Island Business Council, Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce, Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers of Commerce, Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce and the Melville Chamber of Commerce.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economy,” Stern said. “They employ half of New York’s private sector workforce and generate nearly $190 billion in payroll receipts, according to the Small Business Administration. Given these statistics, it is imperative that New York State move forward with a business-friendly agenda that supports local economies and fosters our suburban neighborhood quality of life.”

With Small Business Saturday coming up this weekend, everyone was in agreement that shopping local is important not just for the holidays, but for every day.

“We need to recognize that small business is the backbone of our downtowns,” Gaughran added.


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