AAFE was pleased to host State Assembly member Ron Kim and State Sen. Daniel Squdron June 13 to celebrate an important victory for small businesses throughout New York City.
The Kim/Squadron legislation, recently approved, strengthens a key loan program to help micro-businesses (less than five employees) and to provide micro-loans (less than $25,000). The new law applies to the Small Business Revolving Loan Fund (SBRLF). It directs the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) to show preference in awarding funds to lending organizations that serve small companies. Additionally, application fees for “micro-loans” under $5,000 are waived.
AAFE affiliate, Renaissance Economic Development Corp., has made effective use of the state loan fund over the years to help small businesses in need. During a news conference at AAFE headquarters, Executive Director Chris Kui said, “Small and micro-businesses are the fabric that holds together local economies and this holds true especially for the immigrant communities of New York. These businesses give neighborhoods life and represent real opportunities for the people that live in them. Prioritizing and expanding access to seed funding will give AAFE and other community development organizations the ability to help entrepreneurs leverage their capital, encourage them to build start-ups, and create new jobs in their neighborhoods.” Kui thanked Squadron and Kim for championing the bill.
Small business owners at the event included Yim Chin Mui and Bill Zhen. Mui is the owner of a food vending business at 210 Canal St. Through Renaissance, she received “micro-loan” assistance following the September 11th attacks and Hurricane Sandy . Mr. Zhen is the owner of HZ Computer, and is in the process of applying for a Renaissance loan.
Sen. Squadron said, “This bill ensures critical state support for the small businesses that are a path toward opportunity for owners, and the lifeblood of our communities… Too often, new and struggling small businesses are left to fend for themselves, and this is one way government can and should do more to help.”
Assembly member Kim added, “My own parents ran a grocery store when I was growing up, and I will never forget the struggles and experiences they went through. Mom-and-pop stores represent the heart of our community, and I believe that our state government should do everything it can to help, not hinder, their growth. By improving access to small loans for micro-businesses, we are empowering a large and diverse group of New Yorkers, including many first-generation and immigrant entrepreneurs, to truly succeed in their pursuit of the American Dream.”
Read the legislation here.
Read news coverage from Bedford & Bowery here.