June 30, 2023


Inaugural Report Identifies Opportunities to Cut Red Tape, Improve Business Services, and Forge a Stronger Small Business Economy

NEW YORK – The New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) today released the inaugural report of its NYC Small Business Advisory Commission ("SBAC"), spotlighting eight recommendations to make New York City a "City of Yes" for small businesses. Created by Mayor Eric Adams through Executive Order 15, SBAC is tasked with providing guidance and insight to the Mayor and other policymakers on how to best support New York City’s small businesses.

"I am proud to announce the release of the inaugural report from the Small Business Advisory Commission, a vital step towards building a 'City of Yes' for our small businesses," said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. "By establishing this commission, we have assembled a diverse group of professionals who understand the challenges faced by small business owners across all five boroughs. Their recommendations will greatly improve the small business experience in our city. From enhancing communication channels to addressing the impact of fines and fees, these recommendations pave the way for a more supportive environment. I applaud the commission's efforts in working collaboratively with city agencies to ensure the needs of small businesses are considered in policymaking. Our administration is committed to implementing the proposed plans and look forward to issuing new recommendations in the years ahead to foster the growth and success of our small business community."

"The Small Business Advisory Commission's first report is a testament to what we can do when we listen to small business owners," said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. "The recommendations laid out in SBAC's report will not only help current small businesses thrive but also empower a new wave of entrepreneurs by removing barriers that have for too long held many in our City back."

"The Small Business Advisory Commission is giving New York City’s small businesses an important voice in City government," said Small Business Services Commissioner Kevin D. Kim. "By convening small business owners, trusted community partners and key city agencies, we have identified common-sense initiatives to help small businesses thrive. SBS and SBAC will continue this crucial work to make New York into the 'City of Yes.'"

SBAC is comprised of 44 small business professionals, community leaders, and representatives from various Chambers of Commerce, merchants' associations, and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), as well as representatives from the Administration. Its members come from all five boroughs and reflect the multicultural and multiethnic makeup of New York City’s small business community, as well as a diversity of industry, years in business, and size. From bar owners to childcare providers, to industrial manufacturing, the breadth of SBAC’s expertise stretches to all corners of the City’s small business community. The Commission is chaired by NYC SBS Commissioner Kevin D. Kim.

The Commission’s first-ever report assesses the impact of state and local policies, laws, and regulations on small business owners, and delivers recommendations to improve the experience of small businesses in the City. The report also lays out specific plans and timelines proposed by the Commission to implement its recommendations and builds on the Adams Administration’s unprecedented efforts to streamline City bureaucracy through the Small Business Forward and BLAST initiatives which will save small businesses millions in avoided fines, violations, and outdated processes.

"The City of Yes plan is designed to make doing business in our great city a bit easier, and the FDNY is proud to support these efforts by making the permitting and inspection process simpler for small businesses," said Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh. "We are happy to partner with Small Business Services and continue to look for ways to help our businesses owners thrive."

"Small businesses are a crucial part of New York City, and we want to help local institutions succeed while maintaining a healthy environment for staff and patrons," said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. "I look forward to continued work with SBS and our partners in government to explore the recommended reforms."

"Providing support for our local businesses and helping them comply with our City’s laws is key to fostering an economic environment where our small business community can thrive," said Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga. "We are proud to be part of the Small Business Advisory Commission and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with our neighbors on new ways to help our local small businesses succeed."

"The Adams Administration has demonstrated its commitment to cutting red tape for small businesses since day one and the Department of Buildings is proud to be delivering on that commitment," said Buildings Commissioner Jimmy Oddo. "We have reduced fines and cut down on regulations that impact small businesses without sacrificing safety, and created a dedicated Small Business Team to support the business community. We look forward to working with the Department of Small Business Services and the SBAC on the recommendations in this report."

"Unveiling the inaugural report of the NYC Small Business Advisory Commission marks a significant milestone in making New York City a more inclusive and entrepreneur friendly city," said Council Member Julie Menin. "This report identifies key challenges facing our small business community and lays out multiple transformative recommendations that will uplift our small businesses. The Commission has truly given valuable guidance for policymakers to develop innovative policies to support the City’s goals."

SBAC established three subcommittees with a focus on key challenges to small business owners: Education and Outreach; Enforcement and Operations; and Licensing, Fines, and Fees. The Commission's report outlines eight recommendations for addressing the issues identified by its subcommittees.

Recommendations include improving communication between City agencies and small business owners, reviewing how fines and fees may impact certain businesses unevenly, and expanding the reach and scope of public-private partnerships.

SBAC also worked in real-time with City agencies to ensure small businesses were considered in policymaking. For example, the Commission successfully inspired an important regulatory change resulting in a month-long grace period for the Administration's new trash set-out times. The grace period offered small businesses greater flexibility as they made necessary adjustments to comply with the new City guidelines.

Following the release of the report, SBAC will again convene to implement its project plans beginning in July 2023, and again review the City’s regulatory environment to issue new recommendations in June 2024.

"The 'City of Yes' fuels our City with optimism for the future of New York City small businesses," said SBAC member and CEO of BrandMX Deepa Dadlani. "The amazing team including Mayor Adams, the Mayor’s Office, Commissioner Kim, the staff at NYC Small Business Services, and the SBAC can make this happen! We need more 'yes'-sayers! On behalf of SBAC members representing the five boroughs of New York City, we say, ‘Yes we Can, and Yes we Will.'"

"After working eight years in my father's restaurant, twelve years in a laundromat, and one year in childcare, I know how difficult it is to start up a business," said SBAC member and President of the NY Laundromat Business Association John Jiang. "Helping avoid penalties and keeping our small businesses healthy are critical. I'm grateful to learn that SBAC is truly equipped to carry out this mission."

About the Department of Small Business Services (SBS)

SBS helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building vibrant neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information, visit, call 311, and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.