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Gillibrand holds small business listening tour with SBA

Ryan Delaney

New York's junior senator and the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration swung through upstate New York Monday to hold a series of roundtable talks with small business owners and economic development officials.

The first stop for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and the SBA's Karen Mills was Buttolph Lumber in the Oswego County town of Phoenix, N.Y. Oswego County has one of the state's highest unemployment rates at 12.2 percent.

The pair spent about 40 minutes in the warehouse listening to a few of the two dozen people gathered. Some spoke about the struggles of getting loans and dealing with paperwork.

Gillibrand says making taxes easier and smaller would boost hiring. The senator has previously spoken in support of legislation that would extend tax credits.

"Manufacturing tax credits; small business tax credits. Making their taxes easier to file, streamlining them and lowering rates," she said.

The SBA has cut about 100 pages from its loan applications, says Mills, and the administration is planning on eliminating fees for loans under $150,000.

"This will be very good for our smaller businesses, our startup businesses because they haven’t really been able to recover the way some of the larger loan segment have," Mills said.

Gillibrand and Mills held similar events in Ithaca and Olean.