NYC’s BIG LIE!

Commercial Rent Stabilization Bill

Will Save Small Businesses!

An Insult to Small Business Owners and Democracy.

 

Final Message to City’s Business Owners from Outgoing Council,        “DROP DEAD”!

 

The city’s democratic leadership is actively promoting the most anti small business/anti immigrant act ever at City Hall. If successful, this new law, Commercial Rent Stabilization bill,*intro 1796  (Commercial Rent Control,  CRC), would end any hope to stop the closings of our long established businesses in NYC. In fact, as bad as the small business crisis is, CRC would make it much worse, last longer and speed up the closings of our businesses.  The CRC would keep in place the status quo when a commercial lease expires. The status quo of the commercial lease renewal process has been for decades the “root cause” of good businesses closing, jobs lost, stopping job creation, causing instability and stopping growth of NYC businesses.  Business owners having no rights in the commercial lease renewal process has been cause of destroying the American Dream of our very best businesses. Passing CRC would keep the landlords in full control of the future of every business owner, and that has been a disaster for our long established businesses. 

CRC * 1796 https://legistar.council.nyc.gov/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4230081&GUID=B2FF2D24-F642-42A1-BEBB-D8D59E079D99&Options=ID|Text|Attachments|&Search=1796

 

It is not an exaggeration to portray the destruction of our businesses and jobs and the dire consequences to society that the CRC will produce. In the long 30 plus years’ battle to legislate the grossly unfair, one sided and destructive commercial lease renewal process, the CRC is without debate the most ridiculous nonsensical fake solution to save our businesses ever presented. Passing CRC is in reality saying,” keep doing the same that has decimated our long established businesses and created the “empty store blight”, and made NYC the most anti small business environment in America.”

 

When honestly examined by true small business advocates, and not lobby cronies or corrupt lawmaker loyalist to special interests, CRC will be easily shown to not save a single small business owner in NYC. If any landlord wants to kick out a business owner they have that absolute right under CRC.  Thus, CRC would not save a single job, either.  Furthermore, the bill gives no real rights to the business owners when their leases expire. Every business owner knows that without the right to renewal their commercial leases, they are powerless to negotiate with their landlord and thus at the mercy of their landlord. The business tenant has absolutely no say in negotiating fair lease terms that would allow the tenant to make a reasonable profit for their years of scarifies and investment.  No right to renewal for tenant, END OF DEBATE in a progressive good government at work serving the will of the people and not special interests.  But at City Hall this vital truth/reality will be covered up and only a lobby orchestrated charade promoting only a false narrative will continue for years.  The truth from the real authority, Sung Soo Kim*, “without the tenant having the right to renewal a commercial lease in NYC all legislation will eventually fail to save the business or protect their American Dream. Furthermore, without this right they are helplessly exposed to landlord abuses, illegal extortion of cash, anti growth cruel short term leases, harsh and unpredictable landlord pass-a-longs like property taxes, and little control or predictability over their future costs. In short, business owners are at the mercy of their landlords which is not a good place to be in the world’s biggest real estate speculation frenzy overseen by a lobby controlled government.”

 

Do not take my word of this betray of small businesses by a lobby corrupted Council. Hear for yourself from the bill’s prime sponsor, CM Levin, the truth of this fake bill.

https://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=890490&GUID=3FF7A7DE-5B34-40BE-95F7-60E74A88A168&Options=ID|Text|Attachments|&Search=1796

click link on Video icon of hearing (under Agenda ) scroll to CM Levin statement of what this bill does not do.  12:08 sec to 12:36 sec.  The truth exposed, because what this bill does not do is what every business owner MUST do to survive.   CM Levin’s statement that CRC does not guarantee any business a right to a space is code for, the landlord has total control of your business to maximize only the landlord’s profits. If at any time the landlord finds someone willing to pay more rent, the tenant is not going to stay past their lease expiring.   The money, time and scarifies to build a successful business does not matter to the landlords. Under CRC only the landlord’s profits matter.  CM Levin’s own statements, the CRC bill gives “no right to renewal for tenant and no reduction of rents, ever ” says it all.

 

Any NYC business owner who reads the fine print of the CRC would immediately realize the bill is worthless to protect any business when their leases expire. They would also be accurate in assessing that the CRC bill was likely written by the real estate lobby to stop any legislation giving the right to renew to commercial tenants, rights to longer term leases, and especially protection from paying their landlord’s property taxes.

 

We called this shameful bill for what it really is. the Lobby’s Status Que Bill, which is not entirely correct. The CRC will actually increase commercial rents in NYC and result in more businesses closing and more jobs lost!

 

As early as 2014 the real estate lobby understood that sooner or later legislation would have to be passed due to the “empty store blight” on every main street. Therefore, they called upon their loyal lawmakers they funded to get elected to continue to rig the system to stop the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, Jobs Survival Act, from ever getting an honest hearing or ever being voted on and easily passed.  They would also direct their cronies and loyalist to give credibility and actively support legislation the lobby would create.

 

The real estate lobby has two goals with any legislation regulating the commercial lease process. Firstly, never give the tenant the right to renewal and keep all the rights and power solely in the hands of the landlord. The lobby’s members must at all times have total control in order to gain the maximum profits being generated by the hyper real estate speculation, as well as pass along their growing property taxes which are a outcome of their speculation.   Secondly, always keep the rents based upon the free market rate.  Market rents which were manipulated and artificially inflated by the landlord’s own actions. The real estate lobby produced the game plan to stop the Jobs Survival Act, as well as the false narrative for City Hall lawmakers to do absolutely nothing as the crisis (they created) grew out of control.  The Lobby’s cronies would hide behind a bogus lie that the Jobs Survival Act was unconstitutional and also state as an excuse to do nothing, “government should never interfere with the free market and let capitalism work through the business cycles.” 

 

What hypocrites the Democratic leadership is. Why  landlords want government to stay out of the free market is obvious in NYC. The orders to City Hall, hands off, a free market that after twenty straight years of a sky rocketing out of control commercial rental bubble that produced record windfall profits, the real estate lobby wants to continue forever.  A so called free market highly manipulated that landlords totally controlled to gain insane rent increases and profits. 

 

The CRC is a betrayal of all moral principles by our government leadership by permitting the very same landlords who created our small business crisis in the first place, then colluded to stop a real lifeline to save our businesses (Jobs Survival Act), whose success to deny economic justice to business owners created the “empty store blight”, to now allow them to create their own bill and falsely claiming it will address the “rent crisis”. Yes, shameful and deceiving by immoral lawmakers with no scruples.

 

Under the disguise of falsely claiming controlling the rent will save businesses, the CRC proponents are really dealing a potential death sentence to every small business owner when their leases expire. The truth is that CRC will establish 20 years of insane rent increases that destroyed countless good businesses and resulted in the empty store blight as the “base or floor” for future rent increases each year in NYC.  The rents will never go down but only up from the highest destructive rents ever seen in NYC.  Rents that resulted in the courts evicting on average 470 businesses each month for 10 straight years, 1,200-1,300 businesses closing each month for 10 years, and empty storefronts on every block where once thriving businesses were.

 

To make the tenants situation even worse under CRC, landlords have been giving shorter and shorter commercial leases to even their long term tenants. That means these annual percent increases in rent will happen more regularly with shorter leases and result in adding up to untenable rents very quickly. Yes, CRC bill is economic insanity.

 

Political Corruption In Plain Sight!

A real estate lobby orchasted sham hearing was held Sept 17th, to lay the foundation to vote on this shameful bill.  Mr. Real Estate Lobby, Chair CM Gjonaj did his usual distractions messaging away from the past unresolved crisis, the real problems of small businesses, and away from the Jobs Survival Act. The hand picked testimony came from the same lobby picked gang who opposed the Jobs Survival Act at the 2018 sham hearing.  All lobby coached statements were given like at the last sham hearing, all claiming to speak for small businesses when in truth none were.  

 

When good government was allowed to work at City Hall prior to the lobbies taking total control of our ambitious Democratic leadership, an honest hearing could be held.  At the last honest hearing on the Jobs Survival Act in late 2009, then Chairman David Yassky told the administration, “I want to hear solutions”… real solutions to stop the closing of our small businesses or they will disappear. At the end of the hearing the entire committee became sponsors of the Jobs Survival Act making 32 sponsors.

 

At Chairman Gjonaj’s hearing on Sept 17th, he did not want to hear real solutions to stop the closing of our businesses. In fact, there would be no mention by anyone testifying concerning the Jobs Survival Act! Yes, disgraceful!   But this sham hearing gets worse. Not one time did any member of the Committee even ask the obvious question of either the CRC or Brewer’s resurfaced Landlord’s Bill, “is the CRC the best solution to stop the closings of our businesses?” And, is the CRC a better solution to save our businesses than the Jobs Survival Act, and if so how is it better?  NOT ONE testimony was given claiming the CRC was better than the Jobs Survival Act, and for good reason.  Comparing the two bills would embarrass and expose the corruption and lack of integrity of those promoting this lobby created bill.

 

What was unconscionable about this sham hearing and testimony was the central lobby narrative repeated over and over, we must address the rent crisis and CRC will stabilize rents and stop the closings.

CRC is the BIG LIE from the Council.

 

The Jobs Survival Act was purposely never mentioned at this sham hearing because it is the only real solution to stop the closings and is the only real legislation to guarantee reasonable rents.  Every lawmaker has known this fact for over a decade.  It is only the Jobs Survival Act that was written for the purpose of stopping rent gouging and protecting tenants from unreasonable rent increases. It has built into its statue an arbitration process with strict guidelines that assure an end to rent gouging, but what the CRC does not do, and what the Jobs Survival Act does is put an end to unreasonable rent. The CRC starts with unreasonable rents and increases them up.   The CRC will never reduce rents while the Jobs Survival Act takes every business on a case by case basis with the real possibility of lowering rents. A business located on a block with empty businesses, some for years, can make an easy case for reducing the rent substantially. The Jobs Survival Act is the real rent stabilizer not CRC. What business owner wants to stabilize rents at insane levels? The Council is 20 to late to stabilize rents. It is clearly the time to start rolling them back down to reasonable levels.

A Council with no empathy for the plight of Small Businesses, especially immigrant family owned!

 

Chairman Gjonaj’s sham hearing never asked a single person who testified for CRC if the bill seriously addressed the illegal extortion of cash from mostly immigrant owners in order to remain in business. Or did the CRC address the disgraceful trend of giving very short term leases of sometimes month to month or one year being given to again mostly immigrant owned businesses? Or did the CRC address the harsh and unfair policy of landlords forcing their tenants to pay the landlord’s growing property taxes?

 

Gjonaj and his committee never asked these serious questions and no one gave testimony explaining how the CRC addressed these critical issues of a commercial lease renewal because the CRC does not address any major abuse of the tenant by the landlords!

 

While the Jobs Survival Act seriously addresses all abuses and would end all abuses.

 

Chair Gjonaj, as well as every so called friend of small business who testified willfully neglected to mention the findings of a recent survey of immigrant small business owners.*  For any small business committee in any other major city in America this survey would be relevant to drafting legislation dealing with commercial lease renewals. But not in NYC!  The drafting of legislation takes place behind closed doors by lobbies and only maintaining and protecting the profits of landlords is relevant.

 

*2021 Immigrant owned small business survey

https://www.savenycjobs.com/2021-immigrant-business-survey

 

61% were at risk of closing prior to the virus crisis

82% cannot remain in business paying high rent and property taxes.

41% of owners were extorted and gave cash to stay in business.

91% without rights they cannot negotiate fair leases

83% cannot survive in business without laws giving rights when their leases expire

86% length of lease is not adequate for growth or job creation.

87% would remain in business if the Jobs Survival Act is passed

 

Every one who testified should be ashamed of promoting a lobby created bill that would keep the status quo over the Jobs Survival Act which was written by business owners to create a fair lease renewal process that promotes negotiations in good faith so both parties can make a reasonable profit.

 

Soon after the election, the real estate lobby will launch one of their propaganda campaigns of disinformation to fool the public and justify their disgraceful plan to pass the CRC. Their game plan will get instant credibility and support from many of their shill organizations and lawmaker pawns who have successfully opposed the Jobs Survival Act.  Expect no mention what so ever of the existence of the Jobs Survival Act.

 

The true primary focus of this campaign will be to promote a quick vote on the Commercial Rent Stabilization bill,* (Commercial Rent Control) CRC, as the salvation for our small business owners.  After lawmakers repeat the importance of our small businesses to our economy and society, with the usual disingenuous “they are the backbone of our economy”, many will proudly tout their fighting to pass this new lifeline to control rents, CRC bill.  Vote yes CRC, then they will quickly slither out of office to take their high paying jobs promised them.

 

To fully comprehend the betray of our Council’s selling out our small businesses in their time of crisis, as well as understanding the total control of the real estate lobby over our government, please read these links below.* Each article exposes the lack of political will of the entire Council to call for a vote on the only real lifeline to save our businesses, Jobs Survival Act. Also,  the years of collusion and rigging the system to protect the profits of big real estate while denying economic justice to our small business owners even as they are being destroyed. Yes, a pathetic Council and Democratic leadership lacking any principles and integrity.

Brewer’s Landlords Bill

* https://www.savenycjobs.com/part-iii-brewer-fails-to-kill-jobs-

Levin introduces bill CRC

https://www.savenycjobs.com/rigging-alert-levin-joins-rebny

Lander’s betrayal

https://www.savenycjobs.com/brad-lander-leads-rigging

Case against Commercial Rent Control

https://www.savenycjobs.com/no-commercial-rent-control

 

The CRC bill is so obviously a lobby creation that it must be passed by the outgoing Council before the truth is exposed, that it was only created to kill the Jobs Survival Act and keep the status quo.  The real estate lobby must protect their new Mayor, new Council members, and especially their new soon hand picked Speaker. If a worthless lobby created CRC bill were voted on by the new lobby cronies, this fake bill would expose who they really serve and the level of corruption that exist at City Hall.  Passage of CRC would also draw public outcry which would greatly jeopardize the lobby’s loyal lawmaker’s reelections.

In NYC with the vast majority of small businesses and community jobs owned by multi generational immigrant families (64-68%), a soon to be Mayor Adams, signing an anti immigrant CRC lobby created bill would guarantee him as a one term Mayor.

 

What can the public do to stop this grave injustice soon coming which will destroy the future of our small business owners and countless jobs. I have listed all those lawmakers running for office who played a role in this disgraceful conspiracy to deny business owners rights and justice by stopping a vote on the Jobs Survival Act. Pass this truthful information onto your friends and social contacts and call for a

vote against them.

Organize a few local business owners and go to your local lawmakers and let them know that you and other community activists know the truth about their real record of not trying to save our businesses and jobs. Their real record of complicity to the rigging and collusion that has happened at City Hall for the past decade and make the point that they will be held accountable if this travesty of democracy and disgraceful lobby created CRC is passed.

 

The over thirty year debate and battle for legislation giving rights to business owners while regulating commercial landlords in the lease renewal process will soon come to an end with the bad guys likely passing their bill (CRC) and winning big.  But know they had to lie, connive, cheat, and use every Machiavellian scheme possible to deny small business owners economic justice and in the process their greed destroyed our economy and democracy to win.

 

 

HALL OF SHAME

Vote NO

  • Manhattan President Brewer

  • CM Lander

  • Brooklyn President Adams

  • Queens President Richards

  • PA Williams

  • CM Rivera

  • CM Powers

  •  CM Brannan

  • CM  Moya

  • CM Holden

  • CM Ayala

  • CM Levine

  • CM Salamaca

 

 

* Jobs Survival Act

https://legistar.council.nyc.gov/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=3458244&GUID=D10860C6-E6C7-416E-8F05-563B4551EDB7&Options=ID|Text|&Search=small+business