Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon (D-Utica/Rome) announced that she, alongside her colleagues in the Assembly and the Senate, recently participated in a joint virtual public hearing that discussed the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses and farms in New York State. The hearing, which took place May 13th, allowed small-business owners to share feedback on the federal response to their economic troubles.
“Countless small businesses and farms across the state have been hit hard by the ongoing public health crisis,” Buttenschon said. “Whether they’ve had to drastically change the way they function or simply shut down completely, New York’s social distancing guidelines have taken a significant toll on local entrepreneurs. We felt it was important to hear firsthand accounts of how the federal government’s response was affecting these businesses in order to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on our constituents and the economy, and find solutions to these problems.”
Buttenschon participated in the hearing, asking questions about how businesses could ensure they had enough personal protective equipment (P.P.E.) for their employees and whether or not they would have to close due to lack of supplies. Other issues were discussed during the hearing, including the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), challenges impacting local farmers, and additional measures the state can take to assist small businesses with reopening plans. No one could have predicted the extent of COVID-19’s impact on the country, its businesses or its food supply. The impacts have been real and unprecedented for New York’s business and agricultural sector which have experienced a loss in markets, dumping of products, and labor disruptions. Small businesses and farms remain uncertain of what the future holds for their businesses.
Small-business owners, including farmers, seeking information can visit the Assemblywoman’s directory for small businesses, which can be found at nyassembly.gov/mem/Marianne-Bu