Gillibrand pushes small biz tax break at BankNote

Gillibrand pushes small biz tax break at BankNote
Senator Gillibrand was joined by elected officials and small business owners to announce support for increasing tax deductions for small business start-ups.
Photo by Patrick Rocchio

Give ‘em a break!

That’s the word on a proposed federal law that would give Bronx and other start-up businesses a major break on costs by increasing tax deductions for business start-ups.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who is pushing the proposed tax incentive in Congress drew support on Monday, August 20 in a visit to the Bronx.

She visited the Sunshine Bronx business incubator at the BankNote building in Hunts Point, joining “Shiners” – owners of small tech and non-tech start ups including Majora Carter, co-founder of StartUp Box South Bronx; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who founded children’s book publisher Brook Avenue Press; and Mandi Susman, founder of Sus4Media focusing on social media strategies, all of whom are based out of the incubator.

They all backed her push for the Small Business Start-up Support Act, which would raise the annual deduction limit for business start-ups from $5,000 to $10,000 a year.

“We know the government doesn’t create jobs, businesses do,” said Gillibrand. “New York City is home to the world’s brightest minds and best ideas to grow our economy and create the next big business of tomorrow. Small businesses and start-ups are the backbone of our local economy and we must help provide the environment for those businesses to grow and create new jobs.”

Joining Gillibrand were Congressman Jose Serrano, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, and the co-founder and managing partner of Sunshine Bronx Business Incubator, Cheni Yerushalmi.

“Small business is at the center of who we are as a nation,” said Serrano. “The country did not start from the top down, it started from the bottom up.”

“Business incubators like Sunshine Bronx and Startup Bronx are helping to lay the groundwork for the continued growth of the economy by supporting small businesses, and we need to support their work,” said Diaz. “Senator Gillibrand’s bill is common sense legislation, and I am proud to support it.”

Under the proposed changes to the tax code, business expenses, including the monthly costs of businesses incubators like Sunshine Bronx, would be deductible up to $10,000.

“Incubators such as ours bring together a diverse network of entrepreneurs and businesses to create opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t exist,” said Yerushalmi. “Providing tax relief would be a huge kickstart, allowing our opportunities to spend their money where they need it most: satisfying their clients.”

Since many small-business are started on a shoestring, often by young entrepreneurs, any break they receive helps,” said Ocasio-Cortez.

“Having this kind of tax relief could be the difference between making it to the second year and having to close up shop,” said Susman, who also said she was on her third career and had a family.

The legislation should bring high tech and tech savvy businesses to the Bronx, attendees said. Women and minorities should be represented in higher numbers in the high tech computer field reflecting their true use of social-media and technology, said Majora Carter.

“The talent is here but we need create the kind of economic developments that retain and attract talent,” said Carter.

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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