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New York state announces new tax credits for restaurants that rapidly hire workers

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A server speaks with customers at Margarita's in Syracuse. (Photo: CNYCentral)

New York state has launched a multimillion-dollar tax credit program to benefit restaurants as they work to rebuild their staff and recoup pandemic-related losses.

The Restaurant Return-to-Work Tax Credit is open to small, independently owned restaurants in New York City, as well as those in areas that were designated as orange or red microcluster zones for at least 30 consecutive days during the pandemic. Eligible restaurants must demonstrate pandemic-related losses and show proof of hiring at least one full-time worker.

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The $35 million program will offer tax credits to restaurants for the rapid hire of restaurant workers, which could amount to $5,000 in tax credits per net new hire or $50,000 in tax credits per business.

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A "Fast Track" option is also available, which will allow restaurants to claim the tax credit as an advance payment before filing their 2021 tax returns. Under this option, restaurants will be evaluated based on their net new job growth during a truncated period, from April 1 to Aug. 31, 2021, according to the state.

"New York's restaurants are not only the best in the world, they are vital to the state's economy, employing thousands of people and showcasing cuisines that reflect our great diversity. Restaurants also serve as an entrepreneurial outlet and are often families' gateways to the American Dream," Cuomo said in a statement. "The restaurant industry was among the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, as public health and safety concerns restricted many of its service operations. With the state's COVID-19 restrictions lifted, restaurants opening to full capacity, and tables filling up, this will support the much-needed hiring of workers by these establishments to meet their increased demand."

More information is available here.