Tag Archives: William Scarborough

Op-Ed: Helping businesses recover


| editorial@queenscourier.com

BY ASSEMBLYMEMBER WILLIAM SCARBOROUGH

New York has experienced a number of severe storms in recent years, and the resulting damage has been devastating to residents and to businesses. Damage from the two storms is said to exceed $40 billion to New Yorkers, and it is evident that we can now expect more severe weather events in the future. The damage to residences is tragic, but equally devastating is the damage to businesses, especially small businesses.

Small business is the key to many local economies as well as the engine that drive the overall economic recovery of our region. Many small businesses have been shut down due to storm damage in the Rockaways, Staten Island and elsewhere, or are severely restricted in their ability to do business. History shows that if these businesses cannot recover within 6 to 12 months they often do not reopen, or close theirs doors if they cannot return to economic viability. There is a huge loss to the community in terms of economic activity and the loss of jobs.

As Chair of the Assembly Committee on Small Business, I am introducing legislation to create a Severe Weather Business Recovery Tax Credit in New York State. A similar program has been hugely successful in Joplin, Missouri and has greatly aided that city in returning to economic viability after an F5 tornado destroyed Joplin in May, 2011. New Yorkers have been extraordinarily generous with their time and resources during times of crisis, but I hear repeatedly from businesses which have not gotten the resources they need, or have not gotten them in a timely manner. The Business Recovery Tax Credit would provide for a 50% credit on donations of $1,000 or more and donations would go directly to assisting businesses to recover from the effects of the storm. The fund would be overseen by the Empire State Development Corporation, and be administered locally through the Chamber of Commerce.  Donations made through calendar year 2013 would be eligible for the credit.

Local communities need their businesses back, and thriving. Their employees need their jobs back, our regional economy needs these businesses to do well for our economic recovery. A big part of rebuilding these communities involves rebuilding these businesses. When people have their jobs or can find a new one in their community, they are more likely to stay in that community. Hope is restored when people have jobs, and the goods and services that businesses provide. Restoring these businesses will help to restore the community, and residents, not-for-profits and schools all benefit. Even with insurance, bank assistance and federal and local disaster programs, our local businesses need additional assistance. This program will allow those wishing to help out to donate in an organized meaningful manner, while getting something back for their generosity, and helping to rebuild our communities and our economy.

 

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MCU cuts ribbon on southeast Queens facility


| tcimino@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy MCU

Municipal Credit Union (MCU) has expanded its footprint in Queens with the opening of its new branch in Springfield Gardens.

Congressmember Gregory Meeks, Assemblymember William Scarborough, Councilmember Leroy Comrie, and District Leader Elmer Blackburne joined MCU president/CEO Kam Wong and board chair Mark S. Brantley in cutting the ribbon on the new full-service Springfield Gardens MCU branch, which is located at 134-66 Springfield Boulevard.

The Springfield Gardens branch is MCU’s second branch in Queens and first in the southern part of the borough. MCU’s other Queens branch is in Elmhurst. It is also the credit union’s first branch system-wide to have an e-banking center. The e-banking center allows members to conduct a wide range of banking transactions, including transferring funds between accounts, checking account status and applying for loans.

“MCU is excited to open its Springfield Gardens location,” said MCU President and CEO Kam Wong.”We have many members who work and live in this part of Queens, and our new branch will finally allow us to provide them with convenient and excellent service. We look forward to continuing and growing our relationship with the community and our members here.”

The Springfield Gardens branch is a full-service branch, offering teller service, staff to help members with a wide range of financial transactions and advice, 24/7 ATMs, and the credit union’s first e-banking center. The branch is open Monday to Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

Bill would toughen punishment for illegal guns


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

The day before a man shot and killed a former co-worker near the Empire State Building, State Senator Malcolm Smith and Assemblymember William Scarborough introduced a bill that would increase the punishment for illegal gun possession.

The legislation would change the penalty from a class A misdemeanor to a class D felony, which has a sentence of at least five years in prison.

“We need a comprehensive approach through new legislation as well as through new gun detection technology,” said Scarborough. “This bill underscores the need for stricter gun laws in this city and state, especially because of all of the gun violence plaguing this city.”

Police said that Jeffrey Johnson bought the .45 caliber handgun that he used to kill Steven Ercolino August 24 legally in Florida in 1991, but illegally brought it to New York.

New York City does not honor gun permits from other states.

“Whether or not the shooting today involved an illegal gun, the fact remains that guns are in people’s hands and they are using them. We need to send a clear message in this state and to the people of New York City, that if you have a gun in your possession and you shouldn’t have it, you are going away,” said Smith.

At a recent gun buyback event in Jamaica, co-sponsored by Smith, 509 guns were surrendered.

 

School aides protest pink slips


| nkarimi@queenscourier.com

As Local 372 members return to their jobs, bureaucrats at the Department of Education (DOE) are pre¬paring pink slips and layoff notices for nearly 800 school aides.

“During the budget negotiations this June, the Chancellor [Dennis Walcott] called Lillian Roberts [DC 37 executive director] to try to work with DC-37 to avert DOE layoffs. Unfortunately, the union would not agree to any real savings that could have saved these jobs, so schools took a larger budget cut than might have otherwise been necessary, and these layoffs are the result,” said Barbara Morgan, Deputy Press Secretary for the DOE.

In order to protest the loss of jobs for school aides, community coordinators, health aides and family workers, Assemblymember William Scarborough, Local 372, teachers, parents, elected officials and labor leaders gathered in Springfield Gardens at P.S. 15 the Jackie Robinson School, on Friday, September 23.

“Schools cannot afford to lose these workers. They formed a support network with them and in order for teachers to teach they need this network,” said Scarborough.

The protest, which drew about 75 people, was a means to give Mayor Michael Bloomberg a message — “Save Our Schools! Save Our Communities.”

“I am deeply concerned about these planned layoffs. These layoffs have threatened the most vulnerable in our city, many of them single mothers with children, and will have a devastating ripple effect on our economy. They must be rolled back,” said Scarborough.

Job losses will be most felt in areas such as East New York, Brownsville, Williamsburg, Washington Heights, and the South Bronx; places that are already in need of enhanced social services and suffer with higher unemployment rates, according to President of Local 372 Santos Crespo.

Over the course of the past three years, unions and schools have lost more than 1,600 school and health aides, according to Crespo.

“I know the city is planning an ongoing effort to save these jobs, but there are other things they can cut back on instead of laying off these members,” said Scarborough.