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Chin Pushes For “Small Business Advocate” at City Hall; Reiterates Support For Lease Mediation Proposal

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City Council member Margaret Chin with Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. Photo via Chin's Twitter feed; December 2014.
City Council member Margaret Chin with Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. File photo via Chin’s Twitter feed; December 2014.

Today City Council member Margaret Chin and Council member Robert Cornegy are introducing legislation to create an “Office of the Small Business Advocate” within the Department of Small Business Services.

The idea is to provide small businesses with an independent advocate who would, as they put it in a press release, serve as a “champion of their interests within city government.” The office would field complaints from small business owners about their dealings with various city agencies regarding inspections, regulations, etc. It would be responsible for forwarding those complaints to the appropriate government entities and making policy and procedural recommendations for strengthening small businesses.

“Small businesses are a foundation of New York City’s vibrancy and diversity, and this legislation will allow us to take powerful strides forward in protecting and supporting those businesses for generations to come,”said Chin. “By moving to create a new office that will advocate for strong and sensible policies, along with requiring an annual report, we’re laying the groundwork for historic advances to help make sure small businesses can survive and thrive amid a constantly changing business environment.”

Small business is a hot topic at the moment. A grass roots campaign, #SaveNYC, has been advocating for another piece of legislation, the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, which would require landlords and tenants to mediate the terms of new leases. It’s been languishing at City Hall for many years and is strongly opposed by real estate interests.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer has proposed a separate bill that would require mediation, but has been criticized by #SaveNYC as a watered down version of the proposal it’s supporting. Council member Chin was the prime sponsor of an earlier version of the Small Business Jobs Survival Act and she remains a co-sponsor. A spokesperson said Chin strongly supports the bill. As for Brewer’s legislation, the spokesperson explained, Chin is reviewing the proposal.

 

 

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8 COMMENTS

  1. We need a new office when we have a Division of Small Business with ppl with fancy titles like “capacity building” and we have no idea what they really do. We have BIDs who are not advocating for small business. We also have the NY State Small Business Division, but nobody knows what they do either.

  2. Everyone now reacting to the #saveNYC and http://www.saveNYCjobs.org to get in the limelight as if they have the answer. ALL a DISTRACTION, Delay and Dividing New Yorkers away from the number one issue, the unfair lease renewal process putting mom & pops and all small businesses out at CRISIS levels and the only proposal that offers a solution to the main issue is the Small Business JOBS Survival Act! Pass this legislation now and save NYC! THEN, you can advocate for the smaller issues. BUT if the businesses are closing at 1,000 per month, you must address the problem. You can’t advocate for a closed business and those lost jobs; approximately 8,000 lost jobs a month! Who will be the first to stand up to the REAL Estate industry and fight for simple fairness which the SBJSA will provide? Progessive leaders THIS IS YOUR CHANCE! http://www.saveNYCjobs.org

  3. Let Margaret Chin and Wellington Chan be the advocates for small businesses because they are behind so many proposals that they know what is happening to small business and can answer those questions. I don’t get feedback from them but they are the ones who know what they are doing to us better than anyone else.

    I don’t know if this website they are proposing is going to really help but why does it cost 27 million dollars? Shouldn’t google or IBM offer to do that for NYC for free? At least google should set up a technology center for the elderly get comfortable enough with the android operating system to invest in a tvpad.

    That rent control of stores law – I don’t even want to be a beneficiary of that as a leaseholder.

  4. Appointing Wellington Chen would be a huge mistake unless you just want a figurehead who accomplishes little. He has already proved that his with the very expensive BID.

  5. Well I can’t see the reply from BETTERLES on this website so maybe it was removed.

    the reason I think Wellington Chan and Margaret Chin should be the representatives is that they are in on it – they know at the top level what is going on and what is being asked of us so at least they can tell us what we need to do and what to pay to be law-abiding – who else knows better than the front men of the infliction, right?

    Definitely the rep is not going to be the advocate for small business like Mr. Rosen at DOB who really does help the general public. It’s going to be a rep for the billing of us.

  6. Oh please! Wellington Chen would not represent city-wide interests – only Chinatown interests – like the Chinatown Bus scourge.

  7. I have requested that they stop charging us because they haven’t helped us and we can’t afford more charges on top of creepy real estate overcharges but my requests have gone ignored. Those real estate taxes are a scam.

    We clean our own sidewalk. They don’t help us not get tickets.

    And surprisingly our tenant’s caregiver probed me yesterday and called me greedy repeatedly because our store goes unrented but had nothing to say when I mentioned that a nearby store nearly a third our size signed a lease paying two-thirds our requested rent – otherwise I am vulnerable to character assassination by so called impartial third parties SWEARING that they are paying one third of market rent so I can see how the rent control of stores would absolutely hurt anyone who took money under the table for mutual benefit.

    When that law passes, a lot of people are going to be screwed but my experience in recent days is that while they expect me to mind my own business about how much they really charge, they themselves relish using that to try to make ME and my family look greedy.

    I can prove that I agreed when someone claimed they could only afford to pay less than one third of our asking price and therefore one fifth of market price and I guess I called their bluff because they refused.

    So I’m not going to fight the rent control of the stores – REBNY might while remaining indifferent to the rent regulation of apartments – that DHCR lawsuit of theirs is not going anywhere, is it?

  8. Can you explain about what kind of increased fees you pay to the Chinatown BID? It would be interesting to know how commercial building owners are being gouged. I’m afraid that these large fees might cause landlords to charge even higher rents to their commercial tenants. Rather than helping small businesses, the BIDs might be indeed hurting them . Both the Chinatown and LES BIDs are a huge waste of money, in my view .

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