Friend Supports Bill to Protect Small Businesses from Negative Impacts Caused By Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Claims

Today, Assemblyman Christopher S. Friend (R,C,I-Big Flats) voted in favor of A.2001-A, a bill which will not hold it against businesses for unemployment insurance claims made throughout the duration of the pandemic.

“I am pleased to vote for this measure of relief for our small businesses. Without this important change to unemployment insurance, our small businesses would never recover from this pandemic,” said Friend, who sits on the Assembly Committee on Economic Development. “I applaud my colleagues for coming together in a bipartisan manner to help our small businesses.”

As a result of the pandemic shutdown, New York’s unemployment rate went from 4.1 percent to 15.7 percent in June 2020. Roughly 1.7 million jobs were lost. At the height of the pandemic, many employers were paying unemployment benefits for a majority, if not all, of their employees.

The change Friend approved will ensure that the increased unemployment insurance claims do not negatively impact the employer’s experience rating. The rate an employer pays into the unemployment insurance fund is higher when it has more former employees receiving unemployment insurance benefits.