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 proposition is a mixed bag for the business community – containing both benefits and challenges for companies 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 particularly hard hit by the pandemic.
Governor Kathy Hochul introduced a $216 billion budget for fiscal year 2023 that provides tax relief by increasing the small business subtraction amendment from 5 to 15 percent of net business or farming income and expanding the benefit to include entities with less than $1.5 million in revenue. gross revenue. Up to $250 million in additional relief for small businesses is also included as part of a COVID-19 plan, aimed at covering capital investments such as expanding space to accommodate the social distancing, upgrading HVAC equipment, expanding outdoor space, and machinery and equipment to facilitate contactless selling.
Additionally, the executive budget includes $1.2 billion in state support for health care workers, with up to $3,000 in bonuses for full-time workers who stay on the job for a year, as well as $500 million in cost-of-living adjustments for social services. employees. These employee groups have been particularly hard hit, and state recognition of their efforts is important to sustaining a quality healthcare workforce in the future.
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. which would be fully implemented two years earlier than originally. foreseen. Additional academic aid and investments in the State University of New York will also go a long way towards building a future workforce that will be sorely needed as this region of the country continues to experience 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 by additional federal aid to states that is a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We 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 it’s a good start for a state budget plan focused on rebuilding an economy and workforce that’s been damaged for nearly two full years now.
TUESDAY TALKS: BUSINESS SUCCESS PLANNING IS FEBRUARY 8
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is planning its next event Tuesday around the topic of business succession planning. When a person or family starts a business, they expect it to continue to operate beyond their initial operating plan. But selling that business, and sometimes even passing it on to the next generation of a family, can come with some challenges.
The Chamber involved the Small Business Development Center at Jamestown Community College and Alliance Advisory Group in this important roundtable. All local entrepreneurs are invited to participate in this free online event. Tuesday Talks is a series of informative talks designed to cover a wide variety of topics likely to meet the needs of local businesses.
This event will be held online at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 8. It is sponsored by OBSERVER and The Post-Journal. Please register in advance via the Chamber web calendar at www.chautauquachamber.org
OPEN HOUSE JAMESTOWN EST MARCH 5
We hope the whole community will book the new date for Doors Open Jamestown – Saturday March 5th. The Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce has postponed the event from its usual January timeslot, to allow participating venues to safely invite groups of guests. . Some attractions 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 decided to hold it in person this year. Please save the new date: March 5, 2022, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and watch for details to be announced for our new SMS contest to win Doors Open Jamestown for that day.
THE MAYVILLE WINTER FESTIVAL IS LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS AND SPONSORS
The Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce is actively working on the 2022 Mayville Winter Festival, scheduled for President’s Day weekend, February 18-20 at Lakeside Park. There are still places available for potential sponsors, vendors and volunteers.
If you would like to help in any way with this outstanding local event, please contact the Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber Coordinator, Shannon Biekarck, at [email protected]
To stay up to date on the Mayville Winter Festival, check out their page on Facebook or keep an eye on the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce calendar online at www.chautauquachamber.org.