The Small Business Congress
New York City
Media Advisory Contact:
For Immediate Release Steven Barrison, Esq.
December 10, 2018 212-750-5560
The most important legislation for the future survival of small businesses has been promised fair treatment and democracy
by Speaker Johnson
WHEN: Date: December 12, 2018 - 10:30am -12:30 pm
WHERE: Flushing House 38-20 Bowne Street, Flushing, NY 11354
WHAT: After 30 years of denying democracy to Mom & Pop, will City Council finally pass a bill that gives rights to small business owners when their leases expire?
Dateline Queens NY, Dec. 10, 2018: A press conference will take place in Flushing, Queens featuring Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, the prime sponsor of the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (Jobs Survival Act). The Jobs Survival Act is a Rights Bill for all commercial tenants, it gives tenants in good standing the right to renew their lease for 10 years, the right to equally negotiate with their landlord for new lease terms, and the right to an arbitration process if a mutual agreement can’t be reached.
The purpose of this press conference will be for Councilmember Rodriguez to provide an update on the progress of the bill towards a vote and answer any questions surrounding how the bill works and how it will save small businesses and jobs. Councilmember Rodriguez is open to changes in the bill, however some parts of the bill that infringe or take away rights of small business owners are non-negotiable to any changes.
For over 30 years, the small business advocates lead by Sung Soo Kim* (original drafter of the bill), have fought to gain a vote on the bill by the full Council. Mr. Kim’s statement at press conference at the hearing: “The bill’s new prime sponsor is Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez. I personally trust and believe in his integrity and commitment to immigrant families because he knows from personal experience how vital the role of small businesses is to every immigrant community. I predict he will end up being the most courageous prime sponsor our bill has ever had.”
Even with the majority of Council Members supporting the Jobs Survival Act and the crisis growing worse each year, the bill has never reached the floor for a vote because of the collusion between the powerful real estate lobby (REBNY) and the Mayors’ and Speaker’s office to stop it.
With sky high rents spreading to every Main Street, forcing long established businesses to close in record numbers* and leaving storefronts empty for sometimes years, the out of control crisis destroying small businesses forced a hearing on the bill on October 22.
At the hearing, small business advocates testified to pass the Jobs Survival Act to save our remaining Mom & Pops. Speaker Johnson is the first Speaker in three decades to acknowledge a crisis even existed for small businesses in NYC and he has committed to work to find a solution; however, he also believes the bill would need changes to pass. At the hearing, Councilmember Rodriguez made clear to all, the bill was a Rights Bill written for all commercial tenants and any changes would have to preserve those rights. Every opponent of the bill (mostly from big real estate) was challenged by Councilman Rodriguez: “If you have a better solution to stop the closings and save jobs, I want to hear it. But besides the high rents it must also stop the extortion, end cruel short term leases, stop the 30 day vacate orders, and end tenants forced to pay their landlords’ taxes.” No one answered his challenge and the opponents continued repeating the same REBNY talking points to invalidate the Jobs Survival Act.
Do our lawmakers have the political will to stand up to REBNY and vote for a bill that gives tenants’ rights to negotiate fair lease renewals with their landlords? Or will they delay and stall with fake studies and not take action allowing this growing crisis destroy the American Dream for countless small business owners (most of whom are immigrants) and continue adding empty stores where once thriving businesses existed?
Copy of Small Business Jobs Survival Act
Court eviction of businesses thru 2017
USA Latin Study largest in history
*Sung Soo Kim, recognized as the city’s leading small business authority and advocate for 3 decades, is the founder of the oldest small business service center in NYC, the Korean American Small Business Service Center, and was Chairman of the Mayor’s First Small Business Advisory Board, appointed by Mayors Dinkins and Giuliani. He is co-founder of Small Business Congress and sole creator of the Small Business Bill of Rights. He has spent every working day for 32 years addressing the problems of immigrant small business owners. He never took a salary from government as Chairman of Small Business Advisory Board nor in consulting on numerous regulations. He turned down offers to run a BID in Queens and turned down government funding for his business service center. In 32 years he has personally negotiated and re-negotiated an estimated 50,000-55,000 commercial leases for his Korean members. He has gone to court weekly for 30 years to fight over 5,000 times for his members in court. He personally consulted in the drafting of the original version of Small Business Jobs Survival Act and every version introduced by eight prime sponsors. It was his decision on the selection of the bill’s prime sponsor over the 30 years.