NYC Mayor Adams signs two bills to help small business owners

by PDM STAFF

Mayor Eric Adams signs two bills to promote a broad-based, equitable economic recovery in New York City. | Photo by Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

NEW YORK – Mayor Eric Adams signed two bills on October 18 to promote a broad-based, equitable economic recovery in New York City. These are Intro. 116, which will create a one-stop shop business portal; and Intro. 383 will increase the frequency and timeliness of data reporting on commercial vacancies.

“For too long, the boulder of bureaucracy has gotten in the way of working New Yorkers and small business owners,” said Mayor Adams. “Small businesses are driving our recovery, and we want to make it easier for New Yorkers to set up shop across the five boroughs. With the signing of these two bills, we will ensure we are serving our small business community better through a one-stop shop portal to help them open and operate their businesses and by keeping better data on commercial vacancies in our city. Promises made, promises kept.”

Intro. 116, sponsored by New York City Councilmember Julie Menin, would require Kevin D. Kim, commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS), to create a “One-Stop Shop NYC Business Portal.” This portal would offer all applications, permits, licenses, and related documentation needed to open and operate a small business in the city in a single, easily accessible, and easy-to-navigate location.

With this portal, a user could submit and check on the status of applications, permits, and licenses and settle or pay any outstanding balances on notices of violation. The SBS commissioner also must review the effectiveness and efficiency of the portal every three years, including through a survey of participating small businesses.

According to the administration, they have committed to building a one-stop-shop Business Portal in its economic recovery blueprint, “Renew, Rebuild, Reinvent: A Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery,” allowing every business in New York City to execute and track all interactions with the city in real-time. The portal will ensure greater accessibility and transparency, enable more predictability of processing times, and facilitate compliance with city rules and regulations. It said further that the buildout of the portal is underway, with SBS, the New York City Office of Technology and Innovation, and the Mayor’s Office of Efficiency spearheading an interagency task force earlier this year.

“As a former small business owner, I understand how frustrating it is to traverse through the alphabet soup of city agencies to maintain and open a small business,” said New York City Councilmember Julie Menin, chair of the Committee on Small Business. “Centralizing the process of obtaining vital permits and licenses to operate your business will make a world of difference.”

Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer said small businesses are the backbone of the local economy. “Many of them continue to struggle as our city recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said. “Through the new ‘One-Stop Shop NYC Business Portal,’ we will clear away bureaucratic obstacles for small business owners, allowing them to focus their time and energy on growing their core business.”

Meanwhile, Intro. 383, sponsored by New York City Councilmember Gale Brewer, would require supplemental registration statements for commercial properties to be filed by August 15 (for the period from January 1 through June 30) and February 15 (for the period from July 1 through December 31) each year, rather than a single filing on June 30, as required under current law. It would also require the New York City Department of Finance (DOF) to release this supplemental registration statement data within 60 days of the reporting deadline, compared to within six months under current law. The bill aims to increase the frequency and timeliness of reported data on commercial vacancies in the city.

“Re-envisioning the use of vacant commercial properties is critical to bringing our city’s economy back and building an equitable future,” said First Deputy Mayor Lorraine Grillo. “But to manage it, you have to measure it. Intro. 383 will help us do just that, by providing more timely data on commercial vacancies that can help inform decision-making going forward.”

DOF Commissioner Preston Niblack said creating a more timely and standardized reporting method for tracking vacant commercial properties is key to supporting the small business community and strengthening the local economy. “By simplying the process to report this valuable information, we can better serve the public and improve communities overwhelmed by empty storefronts. It’s a win-win for all New Yorkers.”

–With Ricky Rillera/PDM

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