top of page

Press Release: SBC  

Don’t be fooled by Lawmakers’ disingenuous claims of wanting to help mom and pop.

Same RENBY strategy used for 10 years to protect landlords’ profits, and NOT save ONE small businesses.

Dateline NYC 4/17/19:

The real estate lobby REBNY, in collusion with their loyal lawmakers has launched a misinformation campaign to look and sound like, “finally City Hall is going to take real action to stop the closings of our beloved mom and pop businesses.”  

Nothing could be further from the truth as the RIGGING by REBNY continues.

Articles are appearing with headlines like “ Small businesses on the brink: Stores in neighborhoods across New York are in crying need of help.”* 

Nine bills have been introduced claiming to address the empty storefronts, and touted as helping small businesses.  All nine were quickly given a public hearing at city hall and put on fast track for passage. YET, another bill has been introduced to create a special retail resurgence task force selected by the Mayor and Speaker and to be overseen by SBS made up of retail (BIDS), unions, and real estate (REBNY).  All opposed to giving any rights to small business owners.

** First list of proposals created by REBNY as substitutes for Jobs Survival Act was delivered by Brad Lander and Pratt at the last hearing on Jobs Survival Act in 2009. From Pratt’s testimony read first (1) recommendation carefully, sound familiar?***attachment page 2

1. Create a citywide local retail retention task force…. To analyze the problem and seek consensus on new strategies.  


Read bill 1273-2018 (Lancman, Gjonaj and Brannan)  introduced in council less than month after Oct hearing,*** sound familiar? Create a special retail resurgence task force.  which came from REBNY’s play book 10 years ago,  Create a citywide local retail retention task force.  Its called RIGGING by disgraceful frauds who serve REBNY and call themselves progressives.  All three sponsors refuse to support Jobs Survival Act,  Shameful.


Other REBNY proposals given at hearing 10 years ago and rejected by then Chairman Yassky and entire Small Business Committee have been dusted off and are being presented today as sincere and viable substitutes for the Jobs Survival Act: 4. Control the escalating rents by Incentivizing property owners to keep rents low using tax abatements.  5. Disincentive the warehousing of empty storefronts by increasing the taxes for vacant ground floor commercial space. *** see Pratt testimony  (attached)


Don’t buy the fake acts of our lawmakers. The truth is desperate small business owners have NO friends at City Hall!!


In the face of the growing crisis destroying our small businesses and countless jobs, don’t be fooled by “political theater” from lawmakers being orchestrated by REBNY thru the Speaker’s office.  How REBNY’s propaganda works is first “bait” with correct assessments that something has to be done to save small businesses who are in dire straights.  Next, “switch” to proposing fake solutions, phony initiatives, and useless studies that give no rights to the small business owners and none address a single major problem causing small businesses to close. The goal of all REBNY created proposals is to keep the status quo for landlords in the commercial lease renewal process.   They willfully omit any real solutions to address lease renewal process such as:

Right to renewal commercial  leases for tenants, rent gouging, illegal extortion of cash when lease expires, shameful short term leases of sometimes month to month or one or two years, protection from dreaded 30 day vacate notice from landlord, and stopping the tenants being forced to pay their landlords’ property taxes.


The REBNY orchestrated campaign purposely omits any mention of the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, the only real solution to stop the closings and save small businesses because the bill fully addresses all of the real problems facing a business owner when the commercial lease expires. The rare time a lawmaker does mention the bill its always with a REBNY talking point like the bill has legal issues or the bill protects fortune 500 companies and must be changed.


Don’t buy the misinformation campaign that the empty stores were caused by Amazon, chains, or changing times. 

 The growing crisis that has spread to every main street in the city and created empty storefronts where once thriving businesses were wascaused by NYC Mayors’ promoting a conservative Republican trickle down economic policy managed by Goldman Sachs which favored big real estate.  Also, when good government presented a solution to address the unintended consequences of this failed policy, the Speaker’s office in collusion with REBNY and ambitious politicians, who abandoned their progressive values, worked together to stop the Small Business Jobs Survival Act. That is why we have empty storefronts on every main street, blame your Council member, Speaker and Mayor. 

These are the facts your self proclaimed progressive city council does not want you to know.

Seven times over many years of debating the Jobs Survival Act, the Small Business Congress has stopped REBNY from substituting worthless bills for the Jobs Survival Act.   After each time we stopped their substitute bills, the game plan for REBNY was to use the Speakers’ and Mayor’s offices to pass many insignificant initiatives and bills to give political cover to lawmakers to doing nothing as our small businesses were being destroyed. In other words DISTRACTION away from the number one issue, the unfair lease renewal crisis.

After the October hearing on the Jobs Survival Act , which REBNY, the Mayor, SBS, BIDS, Chambers, Community funded groups, and REBNY’s political cronies testified against the bill, and when the bill’s prime sponsor Ydanis Rodriguez refused to turn the bill over to REBNY to be watered down, REBNY went back to their usual Plan B , of more fake initiatives and bills, more REBNY RIGGING.

Below *** are two examples of the Speaker’s office colluding with REBNY to substitute  phony initiatives and pawn them off as helping small businesses . Read them carefully they are still being used today even as the crisis grows worse.

The Speaker’s office for 9 years, lied and denied a hearing on the only real solution to save our small businesses, the Jobs Survival Act. Yet, on March 13, 2019 at a stated meeting the Speaker’s office introduced 9 bills to replace the Jobs Survival Act. All 9 bills got a hearing in 5 days on March 18, 2018 that's called RIGGING. 

The 9 bills are a disgrace to democracy and an insult to our small business owners, but they expose who are lawmakers really serve!

Read just one from Small Business Committee member Carlina Rivera and see how despicable these fake proposals are in the face of this crisis. Even as the Village is being destroyed and empty storefronts are on every block this is what REBNY ordered Rivera to pawn off on the public as a viable solution to stop the closings. 

Carlina's State of the Storefronts Bill Heard in Small Business Committee  Carlina's State of the Storefronts bill, Intro 1049, was heard on March 18 in the NYC Council Small Business Committee as part of a legislative package that would address a number of challenges facing small businesses in District 2 and elsewhere in the five boroughs.

Intro 1049 would require a Community District Needs Assessment (CDNA) for each district at least every 5 years. These assessments would analyze a community district’s storefront business environment, such as the number and types of stores, vacancies, and opportunities for increasing retail diversity.

If we are to save our small businesses and our local economy and restore democracy in our government  we must admit our lawmakers are under the control and influence of REBNY and therefore we must rally behind and support new candidates who will serve the will of the people and not a powerful lobby. 



*** Hearing on Jobs Survival Act was Oct 21, 2018   REBNY working with Speaker Office Cooking up fake proposals immediately after .  This bill intro 11/28/18 

Its called RIGGING!

Int 1273-2018    Version: *


Creation of a retail resurgence task force.










Committee on Small Business


On agenda:





Enactment date:


Law number:




A Local Law in relation to the creation of a retail resurgence taskforce



Rory I. LancmanJustin L. BrannanMark Gjonaj


Council Member Sponsors:




This bill would create a retail resurgence task force. The task force would consist of seven members: a Department of Small Business Services representative; and appointees of the Mayor and the Speaker of the Council who represent the retail, labor and real estate sectors. The task force would be required to submit a report to the Mayor and the Speaker of the Council, one year after the final member is appointed. The task force would dissolve 180 days after submission of the report.



Council Appointment Required, Other Appointment Required, Report Required







NEW YORK, NY 10007

(212) 788-7116

**For Immediate Release**

October 2, 2012




Contact: 212-788-7116

Release # 153-2012



Speaker Quinn, Council Members, Bloomberg Admin Announce 5 New Measures to Help Small Businesses


New Legislation developed by the City Council and Mayor will eliminate unnecessary obstacles that hinder business growth


City Hall, NY – Today, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Committee on Small Business Chair Diana Reyna, Council Minority Leader James S. Oddo, Committee on Government Operations Chair Gale A. Brewer, Council Member Inez Dickens, Deputy Majority Leader Leroy Comrie, Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh and Chief Business Operations Officer Tokumbo Shobowale announced several measures to ease the regulatory burdens on the city's small businesses.  These measures are a result of the Regulatory Review Panel, a joint effort by the Mayor and the City Council to scrutinize City regulations and how they are developed and make recommendations to recast them, eliminate unnecessary obstacles that hinder business growth, and enhance public participation in rulemaking.  These new measures follow up on and further the initial 14 measures announced by Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn based on the Regulatory Review Panel's April 2010 recommendations. 


The measures announced today include:


·      Identification of violations for which businesses should receive a warning or opportunity to cure the violation instead of an automatic penalty or fine; 

·      Elimination of obsolete violations;

·      Streamlining of regulatory processes; Simplification of the Place of Assembly permitting process;

·      Standardization of customer service training for all agency inspectors; and

·      Designation of agency liaisons to serve as points-of-contact with chambers of commerce and industry groups.


"When we're able to identify unreasonable but curable impediments to small business growth, government needs to be doing everything in its power to help break down those barriers," said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn.  "The Council, working with the Bloomberg Administration, has identified numerous measures in which we can help our city's small businesses succeed -





NEW YORK, NY 10007

(212) 788-7116

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**                                                                                                      

December 1, 2009






Contact: 212-788-7116 


Statement by Speaker Christine C. Quinn


                                   Re: Council Action to Assist New York City Small Business                           


The Council has a long and distinguished record of fighting to help small businesses. We have led the fight to do away with unfair double taxation on unincorporated small businesses saving an estimated $25 million dollars per year for New York small businesses.  We have overhauled the way the Environmental Control Board adjudicates fines and we’ve put into action an aggressive set of measures to keep businesses open and thriving in a difficult economy. The Council has also established a small business regulatory review panel that will release its recommendations by this year’s end.


Council Member Jackson’s legislation before the Council, while well intentioned, is not within the Council’s power. The bill raises significant legal issues that we do not think will survive a legal challenge in court. That would simply waste valuable time and resources at a time when we need to act on a critically important issue - the future of New York City small business.  Furthermore, this bill would have numerous unintended consequences and has several unanswered questions.


Our focus to help small businesses remains steadfast. As a result of meetings and conversations with the small business community we have proposed new legislation that would avoid the problems with the initial legislation while still accomplishing a great deal for local business owners. The new legislation would:


a.    Create a unit in Small Business Services that would be charged with assisting small businesses in lease negotiations;

b.     Create a tax break for small retail businesses so that they may be removed from the City’s General Corporation Tax;

c.     Create a tax incentive for landlords to renew the leases of small retail businesses;

d.     Ban key payments outside of the lease and give tenants a private right of action; and

e.     Begin the zoning reform process with a view toward changes in the zoning laws that currently force small businesses to compete with large drug stores and bank branches for commercial street space in certain commercial strips.


These five proposals are specifically targeted to solve the very serious problems facing small businesses today and do not have the legal and pubic policy problems of Council Member Jackson’s legislation. We will continue our ongoing process of finding innovative and effective proposals to address the real problems faced by small business owners in the City. ###

bottom of page