Legislators meet with small business owners in Greene

GREENE – After enduring two floods and a fire, Linda Jones is proud to say that her business, the Old Mill Bakery and Diner, is still standing. But now, she says, her business is facing an even bigger foe: the ever-increasing number of taxes, fees and regulations being handed down from Albany.

“I really would hate to see my business to go under because of our own state,” the Greene business owner told Assemblymen Cliff Crouch (R-Guilford), Bill Reilich (R-Greece), Jim Bacalles (R-Corning) and Pete Lopez (R-Schoharie) Tuesday.

Jones didn’t have to make a trip to the state capitol to get her message across that new regulations were making it more difficult than ever for her to stay in business. The four legislators, all part of the Assembly Minority Task Force on Small Business, held a forum yesterday for local business owners at Nathanael Greene’s Publick House in Greene.

“We understand that it is very difficult for small business owners to travel to Albany,” Reilich said, therefore he and his colleagues are traveling through the state to make sure the concerns of those business people are heard. The task force has already made 30 appearances across New York’s 62 counties.

While many business shares similar concerns, Crouch said, their eyes are opened to new issues at every stop. Overwhelmingly, they focus on how policy created in Albany is having a detrimental effect on small businesses.

“We can only take so much,” explained Nathanael Greene’s owner Enzo Olivieri.

Commerce Chenango President Maureen Carpenter said her organization receives numerous calls from members with concerns over new taxes and fees being imposed.

“We hear on a daily basis the struggles they face,” Carpenter said, thanking the assemblymen for being advocates for small business.

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