NYS Senate Majority advances legislation to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19

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FILE – In this April 29, 2020 file photo, a man walks past a closed business in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Many people consider the Paycheck Protection Program that promised nearly $670 billion in forgivable loans to help companies rehire laid-off workers to already be a success because millions of businesses have gotten the money. But owners and business groups have said loans weren’t getting to companies most in need and it wasn’t arriving fast enough. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — New legislation is being advanced in New York State to further support small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The New York State Senate Majority announced on Tuesday that they plan to advance major legislation to help support small businesses in the state. The action will build upon legislation passed in July 2020.

According to the Senate Majority, the new legislative package will include protecting small businesses from eviction and foreclosure, protecting restaurants from third-party delivery fees and establishing a partial-unemployment system.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins commented on the new legislative package.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senate Democratic Majority has been committed to addressing the needs of struggling New York small businesses and workers,” shared Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins. “Our legislative package builds on the bills we have already advanced in recent months to help address this crisis. These efforts will help keep our storefronts and restaurants open, cut business costs and help workers keep their jobs.”

The legislation advanced by the Senate Democratic Majority includes the following.

  • Small Business Eviction and Foreclosure Moratorium
    • To protect small businesses with COVID-19 related financial hardships from eviction and foreclosure through May 1, 2021
  • Third-Party Restaurant Posting
    • Prohibits third party food delivery platform from listing, selling or advertising products of any food service establishment without a written agreement
  • Restricting Third-Party Delivery Feed
    • Creates maximum limit for the total fee that can be charged to a food service establishment by a third-party food delivery service
    • Includes Grubhub, Seamless, Postmates and Doordash
  • Increased Outreach from the Department of Labor on the Shared Work Program
    • Requirement for the DOL to increase efforts to provide information to employers about shared work program eligibility and have information available on the Department’s website
  • Freezing Employers Unemployment Insurance Premiums
    • Freezes NYS unemployment insurance experience rating for one year for layoffs and closures that occurred due to COVID-19
    • To prevent significant increases in costs to employers who have experienced higher unemployment rates in 2020
  • Partial Unemployment Insurance
    • Shift current calculation that any day of work leads to a 25% reduction in benefits and instead reduce benefits by an amount proportional with the amount earned

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