OP ED

 

Lawmakers Hit a New Low by Refusing to Throw a true “Lifeline” to Drowning

Small Business Owners.

 

To all lawmakers, mean what you say, especially to desperate small business owners fighting to survive. If you want to truly save small businesses there is only one option, immediately pass the

Small Business Jobs Survival Act.

Last Wednesday at Vatican City, Pope Francis strongly condemned those people who were exploiting the coronavirus crisis to make a quick profit at the expense of those suffering. He went on to call out the “hypocrisy” of the actions of some politicians in dealing with the crisis.  The shameful situation Pope Francis was exposing is similar to what has been happening in NYC for over a decade with our own small business crisis and the unethical actions of our politicians. Too many, have a higher loyalty to those who have caused our small business crisis and benefited from it, while ignoring the suffering.   

 Business owners and their employees suffering from the profiteering of a crisis is not new in NYC.  Our small businesses facing a crisis to survive is not new in NYC. A walk down any main street with empty stores on every block, many empty for years, will attest to our small business crisis spreading over a decade before the coronavirus arrived. Hypocritical politicians who talk out of both sides of their mouths touting their strong commitment to save small businesses and never meaning it, is not new in NYC.  The suffering of small business owners forced to close and lose their life’s investment and end of their American Dream while their government has done nothing to end their crisis, has been the norm for many years in NYC. Will the tragedy produced by the Coronavirus crisis change the commitment of our lawmakers to actually want to save small businesses?  Judging from the effort of City Council to promote the Levin Commercial Rent Stabilization bill as a solution to save businesses means the answer is clearly NO. 

The coronavirus crisis is going to speed up the closings of long established businesses that was already taking place in NYC due to an over decade old small business crisis existing in every neighborhood of our city.  Before the virus crisis, NYC small businesses were closing on average of over 1,200 per month for over 10 straight years!!! *

https://www.savenycjobs.com/nyc-court-evictions-    What is also going to speed up is the insincere rhetoric from politicians claiming to promote legislation to save our small businesses.  

If lawmakers did nothing for over a decade to save a single business during the worse crisis small businesses ever faced prior to the virus crisis in NYC, why would these same lawmakers today quickly pass legislation to save our businesses after the Coronavirus crisis? The answer is simple in NYC politics, leading lawmakers will continue to do nothing and not save businesses because they can’t and they lack the political will, integrity and courage to even try.  They can’t because of the extreme power and control of big business, especially big real estate over economic policy in NYC, and our elections.

 

The Guiliani,  Bloomberg, and deBlasio administrations opened the doors for NYC to become the epicenter of the world for real estate speculation. By doing so, these Mayors put a cancer into a healthy diverse economy that even thru the ups and downs of the economy had managed to survive and thrive on its own for centuries in NYC. Using windfall profits from this “perfect” environment created for speculators, their real estate lobby bought off lawmakers to abandon their progressive values and join the rigging at City Hall. This gave real estate the power to keep the status quo of unregulated and unchecked real estate windfall profits. These same morally corrupt lawmakers would use their office to cover up the dire consequences to our local economy, to the small business owners and to society of this unchecked greed. Our unethical lawmakers have no intentions to create legislation to save a single business or job because like Faust, they made a pact with the devil, the real estate lobby, to sell their souls to get political power and campaign money.  City Hall has shown, Crisis or no Crisis, lawmakers who lack any integrity must in the end vote to obey their campaign donors and political machine over the welfare of the public.

 What will our city’s lawmakers really do for small business owners in the wake of the virus crisis?  Leading lawmakers will continue to do exactly what they have done for more than a decade with our own small business crisis. They will sound like they really care with press releases, mailings, emails, forums, social media, making statements of the importance of our small businesses to our economy. Just listen to the news now in the midst of the crisis. Then, they take actions showing none really care for the future of our mom and pop businesses.  Dishonorable lawmakers will continue a charade of worthless bills, fake studies, ineffectual forums and workshops, more landlord BIDS, loans that few qualify for, and useless initiatives all orchestrated by the real estate lobby to give lawmakers political cover to “do nothing” to save a single business and continue denying economic justice to small business owners even as the small business crisis continues to close businesses everyday!.

 How unprincipled are our lawmakers and how morally bankrupt our government has become under the influence of the real estate lobby?

The only positive for small business owners and New Yorkers coming from the virus crisis is it has exposed for anyone really looking, the most morally corrupt lawmakers who are the most loyal to the real estate lobby. Lawmakers whose deplorable actions placed our small businesses in the most vulnerable positions in America to survive the coronavirus crisis.   

The defining act by lawmakers who are totally void of any decency or compassion and lack even a tiny thread of sincerity in wanting to save small businesses is the promotion by unethical lawmakers of Councilman Stephen Levin’s  Commercial Rent Stabilization bill.  There are no adequate words to use to fully describe how appalling, disgraceful, and despicable the promotion of this misleading distracting bill is at a time of crisis destroying small businesses and jobs. This is a bill that would not exist in any government that practices true democracy in America. This Levin bill, whose sole purpose is to stop all desperate small business owners from obtaining any rights; rights needed to survive. It is a bill that is intended to keep the status quo which is destroying small businesses and making landlords wealthy and would not save a single small business owner and every lawmaker at City Hall knows it. Every lawmaker who played a role in this bill's creation and is promoting this bill should be ashamed and embarrassed now more than ever in this crisis on top of a crisis.