New York is once again deferring sales tax remittances without penalty or interest, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday, a move that's being cheered by small businesses who have struggled during the coronavirus pandemic.
The grace period for the remittances has been extended to June 22.
“Small, independent businesses deserve the exact same opportunities to reclaim and pursue their livelihoods as big-box mega-stores," said Greg Biryla, the state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. "Even with several iterations of federal relief programs, cashflow remains the most pressing immediate challenge for small businesses that have been forced to close or are otherwise seeing their operations and sales dramatically impacted by COVID-19."
The pandemic has led to the closure of non-essential businesses in New York since March, throwing people out of work in the process. The two-month-old shutdown has frozen the economy and has led to questions over whether some businesses can ever return.
Sales tax collections nose dived in April by nearly 25 percent compared to the same period last year.
“Small businesses from Buffalo to Montauk are ready to do what they do best, create jobs, and drive local economies," Biryla said. "Reopening the marketplace for small businesses should be New York’s chief economic priority.”
The first phase of the reopening -- affecting construction, manufacturing and retail for curbside pickup -- has started in most upstate counties.