Senator Rachel May to continue pushing encore entrepreneurship effort

Senator Rachel May

Senator Rachel May (D-Onondaga, Madison, Oneida) expressed disappointment in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s veto of “encore entrepreneurship” legislation that would help support New Yorkers age 50 and older seeking to launch a new business venture.

The bill (S.4575), introduced by Senator May and passed unanimously by the Senate and Assembly this past spring, called for the development of training and resources specifically designed to support the unique needs of older entrepreneurs. The bill calls for entrepreneurship training unique to the needs of 50+ New Yorkers to be made available in each economic development region across the state to ensure access to and awareness of these services.

“We tend to think of entrepreneurship as a young person’s pursuit,” said May, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Aging. “In fact, nationwide, Americans in the 55-to-64 age group start new businesses at a higher rate than those in their 20s and 30s.

“Whether these older entrepreneurs are postponing retirement out of economic necessity or simply to pursue a long-held desire to launch a start-up, this bill would help ensure they have the tech skills and social media marketing know-how to make those ventures a success, generate new jobs, and help grow the economy.

“Encore entrepreneurs face unique challenges, and this bill would help tailor New York’s programming for those needs.”

May said the governor’s veto was particularly frustrating given that the bill so clearly aligns with his own 2018 executive order designating New York as the first “age-friendly state” in the nation. 

May pledged to continue working to advance this and other measures that help address the widely diverse needs of older New Yorkers.

“They are not a one-size-fits-all demographic,” she said, “and our policy-making should reflect that. When we empower those who have both the deep experience and the drive to launch a new business venture later in life, we all stand to gain from their success. As we begin the next legislative session, I will work with my colleagues to include this bill in our 2020-21 budget.”

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