Gillibrand Seeks Help for Lockout Impacted Businesses
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is asking the Small Business Administration to help those businesses left short handed by the NHL lockout.
“The Buffalo Sabres are a vital part of the economic life of downtown Buffalo and the lockout has been absolutely devastating for local businesses,” Gillibrand says. “Local small business owners rely tremendously on the revenues generated from Sabres’ fans to keep their establishments operating and it is imperative for them to have knowledge of the resources available to assist them through this difficult time.”
Visit Buffalo Niagara estimates $1 million has been lost in hotel stays as a result of the lockout. Restaurants have also lost potential revenue because of canceled games, adds Gillibrand, and is asking the Small Business Administration to host workshops on available assistance for small business owners.
Here is the full letter Gillibrand is sending to the SBA:
Dear Administrator Karen Gordon Mills,
I write to you today to bring your attention to struggling small business owners in downtown Buffalo. As you may know, the City of Buffalo is home to a National Hockey League team, the Buffalo Sabres. Unfortunately, the National Hockey League season has been shortened due to an ongoing dispute between the players’ union and team owners, and may be cancelled altogether if an agreement cannot be reached. The effect of the lockout on Buffalo’s downtown economy has been devastating, as hundreds of businesses and their employees rely heavily upon revenue generated from Sabres game attendees. These operations range from restaurants and nightclubs to merchandisers and transportation companies.
As business owners continue to face the uncertainty of their future due to a situation entirely out of their control, I ask that the Small Business Administration work with my office in engaging affected business owners to address their loss, and to make them aware of any business-relief programs that may be available to them. In particular, I urge you to consider hosting a workshop on available assistance for small business owners during challenging situations such as this, possibly in coordination with New York State’s Empire State Development, the Small Business Development Center network and other relevant resources.
I look forward to working with you on this request.