For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, September 14, 2022
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection's Visiting Inspector Program (VIP) Provides 10,000 New Businesses With Free Educational Inspection
VIP Helps 3 Out of Every 4 New Businesses Avoid Violations They Would Have Otherwise Faced
NEW YORK, NY – Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner (DCWP) Vilda Vera Mayuga today announced that DCWP has inspected 10,000 businesses under its Visiting Inspector Program since it launched in 2017. Through the Visiting Inspector Program (VIP), all new brick-and-mortar DCWP licensees receive a free, educational inspection to understand the DCWP laws that apply to their business and how to avoid fines. Three out of every four new businesses inspected have violations that VIP helps them correct so they can avoid future fines.
“Our education first approach is critical to supporting businesses in an equitable recovery,” said DCWP Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga. “VIP is free, easy, and encourages a culture of compliance that benefits businesses, consumers and workers alike.”
Within three months of receiving a new license, DCWP contacts businesses to schedule an appointment for an educational inspection. During the appointment, a senior inspector provides the business with important information about how to comply with the DCWP laws that apply to the business, including licensing laws, the City’s Consumer Protection Law, and workplace laws like the City’s Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law.
“We often find that business owners and managers have difficulty navigating the new business processes and experience financial burdens when starting a new business,” said Chair of the Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection, Council Member Marjorie Velázquez. “The VIP program serves as a lifeline for many business owners and is essential to the economic progress of our City. The more resources and education we can provide to local businesses, the stronger our economy will be in the long term. DCWP’s commitment to helping new businesses thrive amplifies the need for such programs. I commend Commissioner Mayuga for her and her team’s efforts to serve our local businesses and workers.”
"The Department of Consumer and Worker Protection's Visiting Inspector Program benefits businesses, their employees and their customers, and has helped thousands of small businesses be compliant with the law and avoid fines they cannot afford. We applaud Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga for embracing an approach that emphasizes education and working with small businesses, rather than punishing job creators," said Tom Grech, President and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce.
“On behalf of the 62,000 small businesses in Brooklyn, we want to applaud the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection on their 10,000th business education inspection,” said Randy Peers, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “This milestone represents not just a number, but a shift in approach away from fining small businesses, to supporting them with the information and guidance they need to safely and securely operate on a daily basis.”
DCWP is also currently conducting a series of Business Education Days across the five boroughs, going door-to-door answering questions and informing small businesses about what they need to know to comply with the City’s business laws, which cover consumer and workplace protections, licensing, weights and measures, and more.
NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) protects and enhances the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities. DCWP licenses more than 51,000 businesses in more than 40 industries and enforces key consumer protection, licensing, and workplace laws that apply to countless more. By supporting businesses through equitable enforcement and access to resources and, by helping to resolve complaints, DCWP protects the marketplace from predatory practices and strives to create a culture of compliance. Through its community outreach and the work of its offices of Financial Empowerment and Labor Policy & Standards, DCWP empowers consumers and working families by providing the tools and resources they need to be educated consumers and to achieve financial health and work-life balance. DCWP also conducts research and advocates for public policy that furthers its work to support New York City’s communities. For more information about DCWP and its work, call 311 or visit DCWP at nyc.gov/dcwp or on its social media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Michael Lanza | Sheyla Navarro
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection