FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 17, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION PROVIDING ASSISTANCE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws
"The first two of three bills before me today seek to provide relief to small businesses in this tough economic climate.
"Introductory Number 1022, sponsored by Council Members Oddo, Fidler, James, Mitchell, Sears, Ignizio, Garodnick, Gentile, Jackson, Katz, Liu, Vallone, Weprin, White and Ulrich, establishes a panel on regulatory review.
"Consisting of members of both the Council and our Administration, the panel on regulatory review will represent a collaborative effort on the part of New York City government to enrich and develop our small business community, while meeting the needs of consumers and the public at large. In the months ahead, the panel will conduct an overview of the rules and rulemaking procedures of City agencies, with an eye towards eliminating redundancies and inefficiencies. These initial findings, along with a set of recommendations, will be collected in a report, which will be published at the end of this calendar year.
"Introductory Number 1041, sponsored by Speaker Quinn and Council Members Sears, Weprin, Felder, Fidler, James, Liu, Mealy, Mitchell, Reyna, Dickens and Gonzalez, establishes a three-month penalty forgiveness period for businesses and individuals with default judgments at the Environmental Control Board.
"The Environmental Control Board is the administrative tribunal responsible for hearing quality-of-life violations issued by City agencies. ECB violations make up the majority of non-parking fines for small businesses. When businesses or individuals default on the payment of fines for these violations, an additional fee and interest is added to the initial judgment. The City is currently owed $200 million in unpaid fines and more than $500 million in default judgments and interest.
"The penalty forgiveness period established by Introductory Number 1041 will occur this fall and will allow small businesses and homeowners an opportunity to clear their default violations while enabling the City to collect on long-outstanding fines. It is imperative that we continue to find new and innovative solutions such as this one to help small businesses through this difficult economic climate.
"Small businesses are critically important to the life of our City. That's why our Administration's Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan includes tools that help small business owners gain access to financing, tap into our rich labor market, and navigate the City's rules and permitting procedures. Through these efforts, we have been working hard to create an environment conducive to small business growth, and the enactment of these pieces of legislation represent another important step in that direction.
"I would like to thank Counselor to the Mayor, Anthony Crowell, and his staff for their work on Introductory Number 1022 and First Deputy Finance Commissioner Rochelle Patricof, Administrative Justice Coordinator David Goldin, Office of Operations Director of Agency Services Carole Post, and their staff for their work on Introductory Number 1041. I would also like to thank the Council for approving this legislation."
Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine (212) 788-2958