BIDS PART IX
BIDS TESTIFY FOR REAL ESTATE LOBBY IN SCHEME TO WATER DOWN THE ONLY REAL SOLUTION TO SAVE SMALL BUSINESSES!
In our series on BIDS* we have demonstrated that as a result of increasing empty storefronts staying empty longer on every NYC main street, our city’s small business crisis could no longer be successfully covered up by BIDS, SBS, and the Council. The real estate lobby was afraid that a progressive lawmaker would stand up to call for a hearing to address the obvious growing crisis. The lobby had good reason to fear an honest hearing in the Council. Because just one honest hearing would expose not only the blatant cover-up but also enrage the business owners and the public when learning that a real solution to stop the business closings had been intentionally stalled in committee for years. An honest transparent hearing would also show that since August 2018, when a vote on the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, Jobs Survival Act was stopped by the collusion of the real estate lobby at City Hall, every lost long established successful NYC business should have never been forced to close when their leases expired.
The Democratic leadership, SBS, and BIDS never wanted to hold “ a real conversation” on addressing the crisis because of the roles they all played in both creating the crisis and making the crisis worse. Therefore, the real estate lobby conspired with leading Democratic lawmakers to prevent a hearing and continued to conceal the existence of the only real lifeline to save the businesses, the Jobs Survival Act.
Their scheme was to create a substitute bill that would keep the status quo while looking and sounding like it was a real lifeline created by lawmakers who really cared to stop the business closings. This was the real estate lobby’s PLAN A.* We detailed how then MBP Brewer and Small Business Committee Chairman CM Cornegy, with the help of BIDS and SBS giving credibly, orchestrated a charade claiming to create legislation that promised to save our businesses and end their crisis.* Their legislation was exposed as a total deceitful fraud. It was written 30 years ago by the real estate lobby to stop a vote on the original version of the Jobs Survival Act, and substitute for it. Once exposed, MBP Brewer was forced to drop her lobby created bill and the real estate lobby was forced to create a PLAN B to stop a vote on the Jobs Survival Act.
The dilemma of the real estate lobby’s PLAN B
The real estate lobby had a major dilemma when their phony substitute lobby bill was exposed and dropped. Even with the committed support of the BIDS and SBS, there was not enough time for another charade bill to stall and substitute. They could never have an honest hearing like the last true hearing held in 2009. At that hearing the entire committee selected the Jobs Survival Act as the only real solution to stop the closings and end the crisis.
The real estate lobby gave enough campaign donations and political influence to the Mayor, Speaker, and Small Business Committee Chairman to feel confident they could totally control the narrative of a hearing solely in their favor. Therefore, their PLAN B was to high-jack in plain sight a Council hearing. To take total control of the key testimony which the lobby would coach their entire loyalist conspirators to produce a “red herring”. A “red herring” repeated over and over proclaiming the Jobs Survival Act must be amended to eliminate any protections of big Fortune 500 companies. This scripted lobby narrative opposing the bill would result in no calls for an immediate vote and instead, everyone willingly accepting this lobby’s “red herring” that the bill had to be amended. After the hearing the lobby would give guidance to their cronies to water down the bill to where it would give no rights to the tenants and thus keep the status quo, destroying our small businesses.
We detailed the most anti democratic, anti small business and anti immigrant hearing ever held in the Council. The grandest public display of real estate power and influence ever at one hearing. Their PLAN B started out as a huge success as they overwhelmingly won the day by controlling the hearing’s narrative. That narrative: the Jobs Survival Act was not a silver bullet and must be amended or it would produce unintended consequences. But the lobby’s PLAN B failed in the end when the Jobs Survival Act’s prime sponsor CM Ydanis Rodriguez, at the last minute, refused to allow the lobby to water down his bill knowing, every Dominican merchant would be angry at him and rightly so.
Part IX The shameful role of the BIDS in betraying their own BID merchants.
No BID had every testified or submitted any written testimony at any of the 11 past public hearings. In fact, no BID had ever attempted to find a real solution to stopping the record closings of their BID merchants. No BID had ever, in over a decade, made any effort to make their members aware of the existence of the Jobs Survival Act. Also, no BID every made a public statement opposing the Jobs Survival Act. And no BID ever made any public statements even acknowledging that a small business crisis existed in any BID district in NYC.
The 2018 hearing on the Jobs Survival Act would, beyond any doubt, expose who the BIDS really serve and their total disrespect and betrayal of the smaller BID merchants. At this hearing the real estate lobby’s goal was the BIDS goal.
The BIDS came to this hearing unified with a self serving message. That message was clear, translated “ BID property owners do not want BID merchants to have the right to renew long term leases, no rights in determining the new lease terms, and the BID merchants will pay the landlord’s property taxes.” Putting aside all the real estate lobby’s talking points coached to the BIDS: the Jobs Survival Act is not a silver bullet, will have unintended consequences, will do more harm than good, and will discourage new businesses, etc, all of the BIDS wanted only one outcome from the hearing, KEEP THE STATUS QUO. Even when BIDS knew the status quo was destroying the backbone of our economy and the backbone of main streets.
The BIDS shameful testimony!
· Robert Benfatto- NYC BID Association
· Jessica Lappin -President of Alliance for Downtown New York
· Michael Brady- Third Avenue Business Improvement District
· Mark Caserta -Park Slope 5th Avenue BID
· Rick Clark- Chairman Alliance for Downtown New York
· Rob Byrnes – President East Midtown Partnership BID
New York City BID Association
ROBERT BENFATTO: Thank you. My name is Robert J. Benfatto. I’m the Co-Chair along with Meredith Phillips Almeida of the New York City BID Association, which represents the Directors of the City’s 75 Business Improvement Districts. I am testifying today on behalf of the Association in opposition to Intro. 737A.
BIDs are stewards of commercial corridors throughout the five boroughs of New York City.
Storefront vacancies are a critical challenge facing our city and our BIDs.
My response- Shameful statement, BID businesses have been closing at record levels for over 10 years and not once has BIDS called for a hearing to find a real solution to stop the closings. No BID in NYC has put pressure on their political board members: local Councilman, Borough President, or Mayor to seek a solution to save even one BID merchant. NOT ONE! The reason is obvious; BID property owners caused the storefront vacancies when demanding sky high rents, rents they knew their smaller merchants could never pay. If storefront vacancies are a critical challenge as claimed, and BIDS are stewards of commercial corridors as claimed, how and why did BIDS allow so many BID businesses to become vacant in the first place? And once vacant, why did the BID property owners keep them empty, sometimes for years? Obviously, BIDS are not up to addressing critical challenges.
BIDs care about this issue because ground floor vacancies discourage pedestrian activity and are detrimental to our mission of cultivating dynamic commercial corridors.
My response: Disgraceful statement but shows how the BID management really feels towards their small business owners. A total lack of any empathy for the business owners losing their life’s savings and their American Dream. What a shameful statement , “ discourage pedestrian activity.” How about people losing their jobs? How disingenuous saying our “mission of cultivating dynamic commercial corridors.” Shouldn’t your mission be to keep good businesses that created those vibrant commercial corridors in business? Small businesses themselves created dynamic commercial corridors years before the BIDS were created? The vibrant shopping corridors all came first and the empty storefronts came after the BIDS. No busy shopping districts had the large numbers of empty stores prior to the BIDS opening up! Yes, vibrant before BIDS and empty stores after BIDS. Believe your eyes and not the SBS and BIDS disingenuous hype of their worthless programs and useless resources that few BID merchants need or asked for.
“ The problem under the bill is it says it’s a blunt instrument, a very broad blunt instrument that just doesn’t get to all the problems, and you need something to eat away at all the problems. “
My response: This has to be the stupidest statement ever made against the Jobs Survival Act. This statement proves beyond any doubt that the people running our BIDS are clueless and with a profound ignorance when it comes to small businesses and especially to the critical lease renewal process that will determine the future survival and profits of every BID business. The Commercial Lease Renewal Process, is the only factor that this bill was designed to address. A foolish statement, “you need something to eat away at all the problems.” What does this even mean? The most grossly overpaid positions in NYC are BID directors. There is only one real problem causing BID businesses to close, and that is that they do not have any rights when their leases expire.
“Back in April of this year, before we even prepared for this bill, we formed a Storefront Vacancy Group by the BID Association. A number of different BIDs joined together and we’ve been working on the draft reports.”
My response: The empty storefronts have been happening for years and only a few months prior to a hearing on the Jobs Survival Act the BID directors form a group to present alternatives to the bill. After 10 years do the BID directors have a better solution to stop the closings of their BID merchants? If they really cared for their BID merchants futures they would first discover what was wrong with the Jobs Survival Act and recommend amendments. If the future of the BID merchants really mattered to the BID board then they would come into this hearing with an alternative solution that was better than the Jobs Survival Act at stopping the closing of BID merchants.
“BID members looking at things like in San Francisco where they have that Independent Advisory Board that reviews proposed legislation before anyone gets to vote on. .give tax incentives to landlords, zoning etc but these are things to look at, and other things to encourage flexible and creative uses such as pop-tenants in the area, and this requires greater study also, ……and we keep track of vacancies on individual levels.”
My response: Reprehensible, to come into a hearing 10 years after a crisis is acknowledged and the BID directors are recommending “things to look at. “ The small business owners are in the “do something to stop the closings stage” while the BIDS are in the lets count empty storefront stage. Empty stores that our BID property owners created.
He claimed in the beginning that “BIDs are stewards of commercial corridors throughout the five boroughs of New York City,” BID directors should be embarrassed and ashamed of their failure to carry out this responsibly. There is no rational reason to oppose the Jobs Survival Act on its merits. It simplifies and levels the playing field for good faith negotiations between landlord and tenant to arrive at reasonable lease terms which allow a reasonable profit for all parties.
What an unconscionable record as stewards of commercial corridors, NYC courts BEFORE COVID, issuing warrants to evict on average 490 businesses each month for 10 straight years with the majority being located in BID districts. Every month for 10 years on average 1,300 businesses closing with the majority in BID districts. BIDS take over vibrant shopping strips filled with successful long established businesses and immediately BID property owners start counting their windfall profits once they kick out the smaller businesses. The BID director’s record of stewards of main streets is the most disgraceful of any business organization in America.
Benfatto: Every vacancy and store closing has a unique story…there is no silver bullet. From the rising costs of doing business….growing regulatory hurdlers.. completion from online shopping we see complex and serious problems on our streetscapes that demands more than one blunt tool.
My response: Distraction double talk and statements showing the BIDS fully aware of their businesses have problems but the BIDS have no answers. He mentions every fake reason for the vacancies except the real major reason of the BID merchants having no rights to reject unreasonable rent increases and oppressive lease terms demands from the BID property owners. What a bunch of meaningless words or clear lack of knowledge of the main issue facing our NYC merchants, that being the unfair lease renewal process!
Lets set the record straight, for the intent of the Jobs Survival Act of creating a fair environment to protect the investment of all parties by a process encouraging negotiations in good faith to achieve reasonable lease terms for all parties, yes the Jobs Survival Act is a silver bullet, the only silver bullet. In fact, as unanimously selected by the Small Business Committee of the City Council back in 2009, it is the best solution to solve the crisis.
Benfatto: This legislation could have a host of negative, unintended consequences. The bill will essentially freeze commercial tenants ... in place for decades. While that may help some mom and pop stores .. it will restrict the natural evolution of our commercial corridors which enables new ..business owners .. to gain a foothold.
My response: Staying in business for years or decades is the dream of every business owner. It is why they invested their life’s saving and hard work for. When an owner invests their life’s savings and scarifies working 15 hours a day, seven days a week to build up a successful business, shouldn’t they be entitled to remain in business? The BID property owners do not think so. They want them out so they can rent to bigger businesses that will pay more rent.
Benfatto: We strongly encourage the City and the Council to asses the state of vacancies in NYC. …There are many positive policy solutions that would truly help support small businesses.
· Such as consider the establishment of a small business czar or commission.
· Look at property and further commercial rent tax reform
· Establish a legacy business support program that would provide bridge financing..
Increase support for SBS and BIDS
My response: What the city’s desperate small business owners really need is not policies that help support small businesses but legislation that SAVE them. It’s not about opportunities for new businesses but saving old established businesses. Its not about giving raises to BID and SBS staff for ten years of political theater from BIDS and SBS of useless programs which helped produce our empty store blight. The reality is the BIDS know the older smaller businesses can never match paying the insane rents the big businesses can pay so they want them OUT. None of those "solutions" listed by Benfatto will save one business, not one.
Counting empty stores is no solution to stopping the closings in the first place. Only one recommendation the BID directors made can help our city’s small businesses. Adopt the San Francisco model of having a Small Business Advisory Board to review legislation. To restore vibrant main streets throughout NYC I would recommend the elimination of BIDS, SBS and EDC and replace them with a volunteer Business Advisory Board. One that excluded big real estate, lobbies, banks, Wall Street, any connection with politics and any government funded organization. Real successful business owners making economic policy for hard working entrepreneurs.
Another option/solution to save our businesses would be to change the law and make the retail merchants the majority board members of every BID. That would assure an immediate call to vote and pass the Jobs Survival Act and begin the respect and justice for all BID merchants that they deserve.
JESSICA LAPPIN: Good afternoon. I’m Jessica Lappin, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York. The pressure of e-commerce alone is enormous. But beyond that, while rent is a factor, what we hear most from struggling business owners are complaints about bureaucracy, unresponsive city agencies, crippling property tax assessment increases, over-regulations, scaffolding-- any small business will tell you that scaffolding is the kiss of death, and unfortunately, this bill doesn’t address these problems, and as many have said, we think have unintended consequences that would make it worse.
My response: Four stars for Ms. Lappin from the real estate lobby. She hit all the lobby’s talking points up front. She states businesses face challenges but makes a point to single out rent as only a factor. I think every long established business that had their rents doubled when their leases expired would strongly disagree with Ms.Lappin. Rents are “the deciding factor” in forcing our long established businesses to close.
She then lists many problems, none of which come close to being a viable factor in forcing businesses to close. She is right on one point, the Jobs Survival Act will not save a business from closing due to scaffolding issues. You can be certain that the overwhelming majority of her districts small businesses that were forced to close were all a result of not having rights when their leases expired. She, like all BID spokespersons, purposely avoid even mentioning the commercial lease renewal process, the actual root cause of the majority of long established BID merchants forced to close.
Lappin: It would create disincentives for new and exciting creative uses for ground floor space at a time when experimentation is key. I think what we hear most loud and clear is that it would also lock in existing uses for decades and ignores the changing winds of consumer demand. I will tell you, when Duane Reade opened on Wall Street and on Water Street they were welcomed with open arms. People in the neighborhood were thrilled.
My response: Her statement is why every small BID business is in jeopardy of closing when their lease expires. No BID small business is thrilled to see their neighbors taken over by big chains. Why don’t the BIDS care about keeping their established small businesses in business? These are the facts Ms. Lappin in not aware of or does not want the BID businesses to know. The Jobs Survival Act only applies to commercial lease renewals and has nothing to do with the leases of new tenants. The statement of hers that the Jobs Survival Act would “lock in existing uses for decades.” is offensive and an insult to every hard working business owner. Small family owned businesses that scarified to build a vibrant shopping strip deserve to be there as long as their customers want them to be there, hopefully for many years. NO BUSINESS stays open if their product or service is no longer in demand; her statement shows 100 percent ignorance or willful disregard to the facts and truth about the crisis and the Jobs Survival Act solution.
She has a profound ignorance of what a sound economic policy should be. Every major city’s economic policy has the goal of seeking to promote an environment that creates long established businesses that grow, create jobs and collect more revenue for their city. She feels that having businesses for decades is preventing the landlords from maximizing their potential profits and therefore is bad. Is that why BID landlords are kicking out long established small businesses willing and able to pay reasonable rent increases and leaving them empty and waiting instead for deep renters? She joined other BID spokespersons in trying to make the landlords the victims whose profits will be limited by the Jobs Survival Act. Yes, from insane back to reasonable is needed and would stop the closings.
Lappin: Lastly, since an owner has to expect they will have the same tenants for decades, it will likely incentive property owners to seek our banks and national chains with large footprints and deep capital reserves.
My response: Does Ms. Lappin not realize that everyone is aware that the property owners have been seeking out banks and chains for years to replace the smaller BID merchants? Her and other BID testimony was filled with veiled threats of potential harm to our business community if the Jobs Survival Act is passed. Does she not realize that if the Jobs Survival Act is not passed that the destruction of BID merchants will continue and every BID will have more empty storefronts, even national chains and banks too have limits to being ripped off by the landlords.
ROB BYRNES: My name is Rob Byrnes. I’m the President of the East Midtown Partnership which is a Midtown Manhattan Business Improvement District. We do oppose 737A as written, because we feel that there are lot of-- that while rent is important, there are a lot of other things that are important to the vitality of the small business sector that need to be looked at, taxes, fees,etc
My Comment: Following only the real estate lobby narrative. Look at everything except creating a fair commercial lease renewal process that would keep our established businesses in business. Offer no solution to stop the closings. Distract to other problems like fees, etc. Marginalize rent and NEVER mention the commercial lease renewal process, which determines the rent. He mentions, “the other things that are important to the vitality of the small business.” Our bill only deals with what is important to SAVE the business and allows the business owner to negotiate reasonable lease terms that allow a reasonable profit for all sides. If a business cannot make a reasonable profit they will close. All the SBS or BID programs are useless if the merchant cannot make a reasonable profit and closes.
MICHAEL BRADY: Good evening, Chair Gjonaj,. As I said before, I will say it again, New York City has failed small business community, and with this legislation as written, we will continue to do so. I’m Michael Brady, Executive Director of the Third Avenue Business Improvement District, located in the South Bronx.
My Comment: If NYC has failed small businesses why has your BID remained silent for all these years and not put forth your own solutions? He wants it both ways, by having the SBS empower the BIDS to benefit shopping districts and then claim the City has failed these small businesses. No, the BIDS have failed the merchants in the BID districts. Did Mr. Brady ever pressure his elected board members to stop failing small businesses? NEVER!
MICHAEL BRADY: In addition to leading the Third Avenue Business Improvement District, my organization currently manages the Southern Boulevard Business Improvement District to our east with 16 percent vacancy rate and the Bruckner Boulevard Commercial District … organizations have had a great impact on ensuring that businesses, particularly those in the outer boroughs, can exist and thrive and adapt and evolve in the rapidly changing economic landscape that is New York City.
My Comment: You have three BIDS that you manage and you can claim the “New York City has failed small business community,” I would like to have your salary because the city has likely not failed you or the other BID directors. Also, how can anyone aware of the growing small business crisis for over a decade claim their organization had a great impact on ensuring that businesses can exist and thrive. The NYC court eviction of businesses in 2016 had the Bronx with the highest rates of increase of evictions in the city.
Every Bronx Bid merchant is in jeopardy of closing when their leases expire, why is that acceptable to Mr. Brady? He is confused, it is the BID property owners that have thrived not the BID merchants.
MICHAEL BRADY: Our collective organizations oppose Introduction 737A, the Small Business Job Survival Act. The legislation, as we’ve heard today, has a lot of holes and may do more harm than good. However, the unintended consequences of passing this legislation will burden already struggling mom and pop store owners.
My Comment: Michael Brady also gets four stars from the real estate lobby for hitting the main talking points: unintended consequences and do more harm than good. He is not aware that the worst harm to a business is forcing it to close. Which is what the Jobs Survival Act was written to prevent and the Small Business Committee selected in 2009 as the only real solution to stop the closings of our business.
How will giving his BID merchants the right to renew long term 10 year leases and equal rights to negotiate fair lease terms and end paying their landlord’s property taxes burden the struggling mom and pop owners? A ridiculous statement by Brady who like most BID directors has likely never owned a successful small business.
MICHAEL BRADY: The proposed legislation misses the mark for the following reasons: it lacks legal standing. It is inconsistent with state law. It has an overly burdensome arbitration clause that will actually hurt small businesses, not help…, we can’t afford to pass a lackluster legislation onto our small businesses without knowing its effects and its validity.
My comment: Total nonsense, total falsehood, and total disinformation and double-talk from Brady. The Jobs Survival Act is the most legally vetted legislation in Council history. In fact, in his own borough of the Bronx in 2010 the Bronx Borough President Diaz Jr. held a legal review of the bill by experts and found it fully constitutional. Another lobby talking point is the arbitration clause is burdensome. He should go to any landlord and tenant court and see how expensive commercial court cases are in NYC. Also, how much of an advantage the landlords have over their business tenants As for his ridiculous comment that this bill should not be passed onto the tenants without knowing the effects is another falsehood. Giving business owner the right to renewal of long term leases and equal rights to negotiate fair lease terms and an arbitration process that stops rent gouging will produce the desired effect of keeping the business in business and able to make a reasonable profit. Mr. Brady just does not want to change the status quo which with his three BIDS providing a great source of funding can be easily understood by all.
MARK CASERTA. My name is Mark Caserta. I’m the Executive Director of the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID, …and so we talk to those businesses every single day on the streets. We hear their concerns every day. So, is rent an issue? Yeah, it’s an issue in a lot of cases. …..the position here is that rent is a concern. The City almost never talks about the regulations on the daily basis. I have businesses that have been shut down because of regulations on the Street. They’re a real problem. The business registry really has to happen.
My Comment: The lobby talking point checked off, “ rent an issue,… in a lot of cases .. rent a concern. Rent an issue and a concern BUT, a real problem is regulations. How many BID merchants with successful businesses really closed due to regulations? Likely none.
Statement of Rick Clark
Chairman, Brookfield Property Group
Chairman, Alliance for Downtown New York
Submitted to the Committee on Small Businesses,
“Brookfield owns more than 800,000 square feet of retail space in New York City, more than 95% of which is leased to a range of businesses, from small shops with single locations to global brands..
“Int. 737 would have serious, negative consequences on the commercial real estate market in New York City, reducing the amount of space available for small, local businesses and limiting community input on ground floor uses.”
My response: There lies the problem, huge international real estate tycoons making economic policy for small mom and pop businesses. His real message given is the same as all the BIDS, “do not regulate commercial landlords and interfere with the pro real estate environment we have created in NYC making us rich. Also made clear by his statements and all BID testimony, “ BID merchants needing to make a reasonable profit does not matter to the landlords.” And what does he suggest be done to stop the business closings?
Continue doing what government has done successfully for the past decade, nothing, cover-up the crisis and keep the status quo and make false claims like a fair renewal process for leases would somehow reduce retail space available. Huh? Did he actually say that with a straight face?
“By eliminating property owners’ ability to negotiate fair market rents, the bill would seriously disincentives the creation of new retail space.”
My response: The key threat used by big real estate and BIDS to justify not passing the Jobs Survival Act is that property owners will stop creating new retail space. We can only hope! But it is only a toothless threat used because there is no real rational reason to oppose giving small business owners the rights needed to survive and make a profit. His statement that the property owner’s ability to negotiate fair market rents will be harmed is absurd. NYC has had no fair market rents for over two decades. Due to the hyper real estate speculation created by companies like Brookfield Property Group, NYC has the world’s largest commercial rental market bubble. This bubble has wrecked the commercial rental market to the point that even banks and national chains are forced to close. The passage of the Jobs Survival Act would quickly end the insane rents and restore an orderly and fair market rent again.
“Further, if property owners are bound to tenants for such periods without regard to the condition of the business or use, the bill would incentivize owners to lease space only to the largest, most credit-worthy retail tenants.
My comment: More threats, disinformation given to promote a false assumption. The Jobs Survival Act does not bind landlords to tenants without regard to the condition of the business or use. The bill is only for lease renewals of tenants the landlord already knows for years and sometimes decades. The threat of the landlord looking to lease to bigger businesses has been going on for the past decade in NYC.
“The reduction of property owner and community input in the use of retail space would also be problematic. We take feedback from community boards and local authorities very seriously.”
My comment; This is likely the single most disingenuous statement made at the hearing although there are so many it is hard to pick one. The vast majority of New Yorkers do not want their little mom and pop businesses closed. Yet, they have been closing every month for over a decade and nothing has been done because of the property owners not caring what the community wants. It has been always about the property owners making money, nothing else.
Rick Clark: “To support and protect small businesses, the City should undertake a comprehensive survey of vacant space to understand the state of the market and what policy measures would make sense.
My response: The Jobs Survival Act was not written to support small businesses but to save them and protect their investment by giving them rights when their leases expire. Saving them from greedy landlords who want to keep the status quo. A comprehensive survey of vacant space is an insult to every business owner as well as an insult to good government. This is a crisis which deserves real immediate action from our government, not some worthless study of which there are many.
Did the BIDS testimony help the real estate lobby accomplish its goal?
With the help of the BIDS and other lobby loyalist, the real estate lobby won the battle of controlling the narrative at this hearing. But lost the war (PLAN B) after the hearing when the prime sponsor CM Rodiguez flipped and decided not to allow the lobby to water down and make the Jobs Survival Act useless. What is relevant to the BIDS testimony is it shows the reality they also wanted to stop a vote on the Jobs Survival Act and they called to amend the bill. The BIDS testimony prove they are influenced by the real estate lobby more than meeting the needs of BID merchants. The fact that they would come to this hearing with no real viable alternative to the Jobs Survival Act, yet oppose it for no good valid reason, shows their goal was to keep the status quo for their BID property owners and not save their BID merchants.
Not a single one of the 75 BIDS had the decency to even pretend they sought a real solution to stop the closings of their BID members.
The hearing makes a strong case for either eliminating the BIDS or changing the law to make the retail merchants the majority board members.
PART X THE CITY COUNCIL IS FOR SALE!
REAL ESTATE LOBBY’S PLAN C
* Part VIII https://www.savenycjobs.com/bids-part-viii
* Part III https://www.savenycjobs.com/bids-part-iii