The Business Council of Westchester, the county’s only business membership organization focused on economic development and advocacy, has joined with two dozen other businesses organizations across New York State to support proposed legislation that would help to combat a climate of overly aggressive enforcement of newly enacted government regulations.
In particular, the group recently co-signed a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and leading members of the state Legislature requesting support of A.7540-B/S.5815-C and A.842/S.5812.
These commonsense regulatory reform measures are important steps necessary to improve the state’s business climate, its relationship with small businesses, and will provide support to ensure regulatory compliance, the letter states.
Small businesses consistently cite the aggressive enforcement of newly enacted regulations as a serious problem. This aggressive approach has a greater impact on the state’s small businesses, who often lack the financial and human resources to ensure compliance. Furthermore, state agencies lack employer advocates or resources to aid businesses in understanding regulations, and they rarely provide the needed guidance or educational opportunities – making it extraordinarily difficult for small businesses who are already trying to comply with countless new and existing regulations.
A.7540-B/S.5815-C and A.842/S.5812 help combat a climate of overly aggressive enforcement and lack of regulatory guidance and education by creating a culture where the state and business owners can work together to ensure the state’s rules and regulations are followed.
A.7540-B/S.5815-C would provide a cure period for small businesses to correct the first-time violation, rather than be required to pay a substantial fine, while also continuing to protect the public. First-time violations would not be forgiven for regulatory offenses that harm public safety, health, or the environment, violate human or civil rights laws, violate penal law, or result in loss of employee wages or benefits. A.842/S.5812 would require state agencies to consider how proposed rules would affect small businesses, including the minimum time needed to comply with any new regulations. State agencies would need to consider the practical, financial, and legal constraints for small businesses, and describe how they intend to communicate the new requirements.
These efforts are an important step in the right direction to provide the necessary support and guidance for the small businesses that employ half of New York’s private sector workforce and drive the economy of every neighborhood and community. New York State continues to be one of the most difficult places to operate a business, and most voters believe it’s becoming even harder for businesses to succeed. State agencies need to work collaboratively with small businesses to ensure regulatory compliance. It’s time to work towards creating a better business and regulatory climate for our small businesses, who are the backbone of local economies and communities across New York State.