ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Ninety-eight percent of businesses say the number one issue they’re dealing with are high unemployment insurance rates. With small businesses driving the state’s economy, New Yorkers are calling for a change. 

Rod Dion, business owner of Tech Valley Office Interiors further explains his financial struggles with UI rates, “Since 2019 my rate has doubled and gone up 61.9%, this is on top of all the other cost and supply chain issues that we’re having, it’s a very difficult issue. The state made these decisions and yet they’re turning to the small business owners to pay for it.”

Due to the pandemic, New York’s unemployment insurance program has seen a massive amount of claims. So much so, that they needed federal aid to help fund those claims. Now, the state has a $9 billion debt that must be paid back. 

Lawmakers would like to see two billion dollars in the budget as a strong down payment and provide immediate relief. 

Most states used federal money to maintain UI benefit payments. 32 states have already applied $20 billion in federal covid aid to help with UI programs.