Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has signed an Executive Order waiving fees for businesses rebuilding after suffering damage in Hurricane Sandy. Fees related to various applications, permits, inspections and other requirements will be waived for businesses that were open and operating on or prior to Hurricane Sandy and were located in Hurricane Evacuation Zones A or B, within a Business Recovery Zone, or in a building that was inspected for structural damage by the Department of Buildings. The Mayor first announced this initiative in his State of the City Address one week ago. Businesses still need to file the required applications and permits, but will not have to pay associated fees if they successfully apply for a waiver. Applications are on the Restoration Business Acceleration Team’s web page at www.NYC.gov. The Restoration Business Acceleration Team assists affected businesses by coordinating the services, permitting and inspections needed to reopen as soon as possible and assigning a client manager to serve as a single point-of-contact for impacted businesses, providing necessary information, coordinating scheduling with safety and regulatory agencies, and troubleshooting problems.
“As I said last week, we need our businesses to recover from Hurricane Sandy as quickly as possible, and we’ll make sure government doesn’t stand in their way,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Reinvesting in our hardest-hit areas is key to rebuilding our economy and creating jobs in the neighborhoods that need them most.”
“From the moment of Sandy’s arrival, Mayor Bloomberg and our Administration have worked closely with small businesses in impacted communities to speed their recovery and reopening, providing more than $10 million of emergency financial assistance and helping hundreds of businesses re-open their doors via our RBAT initiative,” Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel said. “Today’s announcement of suspended inspection and permit fees for impacted businesses is the latest evidence of the Mayor’s commitment to doing everything we can to help as many businesses as possible recover as quickly as possible from Sandy.”
“We must do everything in our power to help small business owners impacted by Sandy get back on their feet,” said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “These businesses are the economic engine of their communities, bringing jobs and much needed services to areas devastated by the storm. The City Council and the Bloomberg Administration have been working hard for the last four months to help businesses and residents rebuild, and I applaud the Mayor for taking action to remove obstacles to that recovery.”
The fees being waived include:
- Department of Buildings: Application, permit and inspection fees for plumbing, scaffolds, sidewalk sheds, fences, signs, boilers, demolition, elevators, construction, limited alteration applications and after hours variances.
- Fire Department: Fees for inspection and testing of liquid motor fuel dispensing system installations; acceptance testing of fire protection systems, including fire alarm systems, fire extinguishing systems and fire pumps; review of design and installation documents for liquid motor fuel dispensing systems and fire protection systems.
- Department of Environmental Protection: Fees related to asbestos review tracking system, boiler registration, certificates of operation, demolition registration, registration to operate a portable generator, gasoline dispensing sites, spray painting requirements.
- Department of Small Business Services: Fees related to waterfront construction work, equipment use permits, mooring permits, fill work permits and certificates of completion.
- Department of Transportation: Street opening permits, building operations and construction activity permits, debris container, sidewalk construction permits, vault permits and canopy permits.
- Department of Consumer Affairs: Fees related to special sales license, tow truck replacement inspection, pedicab inspection fees.
- Landmarks Preservation Commission: Fees related to certificates of appropriateness and certificates of no effect.
“Thousands of New Yorkers have endured the devastating impacts of Hurricane Sandy, and by waiving construction permit fees, we will ease the burden on business owners who are working hard to rebuild their properties," said Commissioner LiMandri. "Since the storm, our staff has worked closely with property owners throughout the City to help them assess the damage and reconstruct their homes and offices in the safest way possible."
“This executive order will help businesses severely impacted by Sandy to more quickly get back on their feet and at the same ensures the Fire Department’s number one priority – fire and life safety – will not be compromised,” said Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano.
“In addition to waiving a number of fees, we have made it easier than ever for those still recovering from Sandy to make repairs to their heating systems quickly by streamlining the registration processes for emergency boiler work, saving New Yorkers paperwork and visits to DEP offices,” said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland.
“Small businesses across the city that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy are coming back,” said Rob Walsh, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. “Waiving inspection fees will allow impacted businesses to reopen quickly and safely, bringing jobs and customers back to the hardest-hit neighborhoods.”
“Every street cut, new vault or curbside container is a sign that businesses are one step closer to recovery,” said NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “As we continue to pursue critical infrastructure aid, we're doing everything we can to help local business owners get back in operation fast.”
“Commercial buildings are an integral part of many of New York City’s historic districts, and contribute enormously to their special sense of place, making it imperative that the businesses they house are given every opportunity to thrive,” said Landmarks Preservation Commission Chairman Robert B. Tierney.
“In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, hundreds of New York City businesses are working hard to reopen for business and we want to do everything we can to help them get back up on their feet,” said Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz. “In addition to waiving related fees, we are also offering free one-on-one financial counseling at our City’s Financial Empowerment Centers and all New Yorkers in need of financial guidance should call 311 to schedule an appointment.”
“The Restoration Business Acceleration Team offers a single point of contact to help businesses get all the assistance from the City that they need to reopen, and we are pleased to be able to help these businesses get the permits and inspections they need without having to incur fees,” said Robinson Hernandez, Executive Director of the Business Acceleration Team. “We are grateful for the enthusiasm and efforts of our colleagues across several agencies in making the waiver possible.”