Lawmakers Ask MTA to Delay Congestion Pricing Plan; Terry Clarke of Black Parakeetz is one of the winners of the SBDC Entrepreneur of the Year award; Briefs

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Lawmakers Ask MTA to Delay Congestion Pricing Plan; Create a one-seat trip to NYC

A state legislator is asking the MTA to delay its congestion pricing plan and create a ride to a Rockland County plaza in Manhattan.

“I understand the MTA needs the money,” said Sen. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick. “It can’t come on the backs of people who don’t have other good options to get into the city.”

The senator asks the MTA to appoint someone from Rockland to the board to advise on the project. If passed, the plan will make New York the first US city to charge drivers an extra fee to enter its most congested areas.

MTA CEO Janno Lieber said the plan was designed to reduce single-occupant cars.

MTABut Rockland officials largely agree that riders west of the Hudson River shouldn’t have to pay the toll because they don’t have a direct train to town. Many commuters choose to drive to Manhattan to save time and money.

“The Central Business District Toll Program aims to reduce vehicular congestion, improve air quality and support public transportation investment, benefiting everyone working in or visiting the Central Business District. business,” MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said. “The Traffic Mobility Review Board is required by law and will review the analysis of the effects of the program and consider arguments for credits, rebates or exemptions as it offers suggestions for toll rates. The MTA, NYSDOT and NYCDOT will hold six virtual public hearings next month as part of the program’s environmental review that will provide opportunities for public comment on the program.

The MTA will hold a series of hearings late next month to gather input before the Federal Highway Administration must issue final approval.

County Executive Ed Day is disappointed that the MTA created its review board without representation from the MTA’s West Hudson service area.

“Rockland County has the least MTA service of any other member of the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD),” Day said. “Many of our resident commuters drive to Manhattan due to the lack of public transit options available to them and due to sub-par and often unreliable rail service, which is operated by NJ Transit through a contract with Metro-North, and extremely limited in quantity and lamentable in quality.

The MTA will hold public hearings on the environmental assessment of the project next month. The auditions will be held online, accessible via the project website: New York Central Business District Toll Program (

Terry Clarke of Nyack’s Black Parakeetz is one of the winners of the SBDC Entrepreneur of the Year award

Terry Clarke, owner of Nyack’s Black Parakeetz Paint, Swig & Sing!, has been named one of the recipients of the New York Small Business Development Center (SBDC) “Entrepreneur of the Year” award. The awards were announced in a virtual ceremony on Tuesday, July 26.

The awards recognize small business owners who, with the help of SBDC advisors and services, have excelled in planning, establishing, promoting and growing their businesses.

terry clarkBlack Parakeetz Paint, Swig and Sing!, which opened in fall 2021, is all about group fun: painting with friends, drinking high-end cocktails at the martini bar and karaoke in ultra -elegant. There’s also food, including pizza, at the newly opened venue at 298 Main St. off Route 9W. RCBJ introduced the entertainment newcomer on September 26, 2021.

“We are honored to be recognized by the SBDC considering all they have done for us,” Clarke said. “We couldn’t have made our dream a reality without their support.”

The SBDC is administered by the State University of New York (SUNY) and funded by the US Small Business Administration, New York State, and host campuses, including Rockland Community College.

“It’s great that the SBDC is supporting local businesses, and we’re happy to welcome Black Parakeetz to our community,” added Nyack Mayor Don Hammond. “It is a special honor for our village to have a ‘veteran entrepreneur of the year’ among our successful business owners. »

The centers provide counseling, training, research, management, and technical assistance to start-ups and existing small businesses throughout the state. The organization selects entrepreneurship winners each year from more than 21,000 program clients statewide.

The state’s 22 SBDCs each nominate entrepreneurs for recognition in one of eight business categories: veteran-owned, minority-owned, women-owned, and growth-oriented, as well as entrepreneurs in key industry segments including manufacturing, export, servitude and supply contracts.

Clarke’s company was nominated by the Rockland Center.

Clarke built the business with the help of a $150,000 capital expansion loan from Community Capital New York. Clarke used the loan to renovate the building, purchase furniture, fixtures and equipment, and create seven new jobs.

“We wouldn’t be where we are today without SBDC and Community Capital,” he said. “They helped us support our dream exactly when we needed it.”

“We are very proud of Black Parakeetz and hope they serve as an inspiration to budding entrepreneurs in Rockland County,” added Tom Morley, Director of Rockland Regional SBDC at Rockland Community College. “We welcome all newcomers and provide assistance with business needs from the most basic to the most sophisticated, as well as disaster relief and other emergency assistance when needed.”

New York businesses are tasked with repaying federal loans

New York businesses are receiving surtaxes from the New York State Department of Labor to pay off federal loans the state took out to cover unemployment benefits it had to pay during the Covid-19 pandemic, reports WNBR News Radio.

nystate dolThe letter that some businesses have already received states: “The Interest Assessment Surcharge (IAS), enacted by the New York State Legislature, assesses a temporary charge for businesses to ensure that the State has sufficient funds to pay the interest due. Although the IAS rate varies from year to year, the current rate is 0.23%.

The report says more than 500,000 New York businesses that pay unemployment insurance will receive a letter notifying them of the surtax. Companies must make payment by the end of September, although many have not even received the letter.

The Department of Labor website says most companies will be charged $27.60 per employee. It also says New York has only repaid 11% of the $9.2 billion it borrowed to cover unemployment benefits during the pandemic and that businesses will be required to pay the surtax each year until that the entire loan is repaid.

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