SBC - The Small Business Congress      

  

        Media Advisory        

 

REBNY HALL’s leader Mayor de Blasio’s message to desperate Mom & Pop owners, DROP DEAD!

 

Don’t believe lawmakers’ claims they are doing all they can to help save our small businesses and something is better than nothing. It’s a REBNY orchestrated lie and it is “doing nothing”. 

 

When a business is forced to close don’t blame the landlord, put the blame where it belongs, blame de Blasio and REBNY Cronies at City Hall

 

Dateline New York City Tue. 1, 2016

Suddenly there is an angry buzz all over the city with many neighborhoods and organizations holding forums, meetings and seminars with the topic of what can be done to stop the closing of small businesses and save the character of neighborhoods. Our self proclaimed progressive lawmakers have remained silent and done nothing for years as the crisis worsens caused by hyper speculation leading to out of control rent increases.

The only time the public hears from any lawmaker on the outrageous rent increases, is at a public rally to protest a popular businesses’ closings. And then our lawmakers break their silence and show up proclaiming their outrage but first make excuses of why government can’t do anything to regulate the landlords. When asked about the only real solution to save small businesses, the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, (Jobs survival Act ), they hide behind misinformation from the talking points of REBNY that the legislation, which would regulate landlords and give rights to tenants, has legal issues or the City does not have the authority to enact commercial rent regulation legislation.* Next, they draw attention and the public’s anger to the landlords or Chain stores as the source of the problem and away from City Hall where a solution, Jobs Survival Act, sits bottled up in committee for the past seven years. 

* savenycjobs.org has detailed facts disproving both claims and showing conclusively the Jobs Survival Act is fully constitutional and the City has Home Rule.

 

The increased closing of long established businesses, the warehousing of store fronts (sometimes for years), and seeing their neighborhoods turned into Malls has pushed the majority of NYers past their tipping point. In response to the publics’ anger and wanting something done to save their businesses and the character of their neighborhoods, City Hall has upped the number of small business announcements of launching new initiatives and business programs all claiming to help our struggling businesses. Public hearings at City Hall are being touted as seeking strategies for legislation and programs to promote, support and assist our small businesses, but is this their true goal?  “No, it’s a charade to hide the real estate lobbies’ hidden agenda, to deny democracy and pass legislation that keeps the status quo”, according to the city’s leading small business authority for three decades, Sung Soo Kim *. 

 

Since early 2015 when Chairman Robert Cornegy of the Small Business Committee and Manhattan President Gale Brewer announced the results of a major study on small businesses and pledged to create legislation to address the sky high rents, Kim has been calling for a Boycott of all government hearings,* forums, and workshops’ whose true purpose is “rigging the system” to substitute REBNY’s Trojan Horse proposals for the Jobs Survival Act.  Kim does not want to give these REBNY orchasted sham actions any credibility, “they are shameful acts against NYers seeking economic justice and a just democratic process.” 

 

So Called Progressive lawmakers resurrect 30 year old REBNY proposals and dust them off and use pro- real estate City Hall to sell them as new ideas.

 

Kim, ‘all of these so called helpful proposals** were created by REBNY 30 years ago for the infamous Limousine Commission, the first time government “rigged the system” by former Mayor Koch and Speaker Vallone.* to stop the original version of the Jobs Survival Act.”

All these same proposals had only one purpose, to keep the status quo and all the power in the hands of big real estate. All were rejected by the city’s entire business community as being worthless and would not save a single small business from rent gouging or offer protection from being forced to close. Kim, “if lawmakers really had a priority of wanting to save or protect our businesses when their leases expired, they would either sponsor the Jobs Survival Act or call for an honest debate in council to find the best solution to stop the closings”.

 * Kim’s OP ED for Our Town details history- PR by Kim

** savenycjobs.org  details of three proposals created in 1986 and being resurrected today by pro REBNY lawmakers as substitutes for the Jobs Survival Act. 

 

What is really behind the sudden urge to help small businesses after lawmakers and the de Blasio administration* have remained silent and done nothing for the past seven years as an estimated 1,000 businesses close each month in NYC, and court evictions of commercial tenants has risen from an ave. 488 per month in de Blasio’s first term to an ave. 542 per month last year?

  **(savenycjobs.org for court records of evictions 1994-2015)

 * de Blasio as Public Advocate and Mayor has never mentioned once supporting the Jobs Survival Act or holding a hearing to find a real solution to the businesses closing.

 

The reason REBNY is now pushing lawmakers to pass legislation is due to the crisis getting worse each year and the city’s government agencies and lawmakers no longer able to cover up the destruction of “the backbone of our economy” by making the absurd claims the major problems facing small businesses are: to many fines and lack of loans. Equally outrageous are the Small Business Services many useless programs to help start and grow businesses while not making any commitment to save a single business or job.

Kim, “what good is any government program or initiative if the business closes?”

 

Kim, “these hearings and proposals are all a sham scheme of REBNY to continue rigging the system to prevent any legislation which regulated commercial landlords and gives rights to business owners when their leases expire. The “smoke and mirror” actions are laying the foundation for the passage of one (or several) of REBNY’s Trojan Horse proposals which would keep the status quo and not save a single small business or job in NYC.”

 

There are many REBNY Cronies at City Hall who would gladly abandon their progressive values in exchange for REBNY’s campaign funds and political influence, and many already have.  But the small business advocates agree the one lawmaker most responsible for selling out to REBNY and betraying his progressive principles by joining in the “rigging the system” to stop any legislation regulating commercial landlords and ending this crisis is Mayor de Blasio.

 

In 2009 the crisis was first exposed by an independent major small business study * and accepted by then Small Business Committee Chair David Yassky**.  The two strongest voices for passage of the Jobs Survival Act as the best solution to end the crisis were then candidate for Public Advocate, Bill de Blasio and candidate for Comptroller, John Liu.  

* savenycjobs.org for full study USA Latin Chamber of Commerce

** savenycjobs.org  video of Yassky at Forum:’Crisis on Main Street” Solutions to Save Hispanic Small Businesses and Jobs.  De Blasio is over his right shoulder

 

Once the Champion of Small Businesses’ Rights and the Small Business Survival Act.  Mayor de Blasio did what no other lawmaker has done in 30 years, switched sided and fought against the Jobs Survival Act.

 

Kim, “Like many politicians, candidate de Blasio promised change, a dramatic change of direction from the Bloomberg administration. In my 30 years advocating for small business, no elected official has exhibited as dramatic a change in small business policy as our Mayor Bill de Blasio.  He has gone the gamut, changing his assessment of the crisis from ‘rent gouging and extortion’ to ‘fines and lack of access to loans,’ a complete flip-flop from the last election.” At election time, de Blasio was a self-proclaimed ‘champion for small businesses’ candidate, fighting ‘economic inequality,’ but once elected as mayor, de Blasio has kept Bloomberg’s anti-small business agency and policy intact.

 

Candidate de Blasio went to every citywide small business event “proudly proclaiming his support for the Jobs Survival Act, as well as accepting the findings of the USA Latin Chamber small business study showing a crisis existed.

 

April 18, 2009  Forum:’Crisis on Main Street” Solutions to Save Hispanic Small Businesses and Jobs. Washington Heights Church

Before mostly immigrant business owners, de Blasio stated, “ I am a proud sponsor of the Small Business Survival Act and praise the bill as being fair and a real solution to solve the problems faced by small businesses when their leases were up.” He also stated government is not doing enough to protect the investments made by small business owners especially immigrant owners and should take action to stop all extortion by unscrupulous landlords.

 

July 16, 2009 – Queens Forum  “Crisis on Main Street Queens” , sponsored by Korean American Small Business Service Center.  PA Candidate de Blasio attended and gave strong support to the Small Business Survival Act, and pledged “to use the office of Public Advocate to address the issue of extortion of small businesses taking place in mostly poorer neighborhoods and mostly against immigrant small business owners.”

 

August 11, 2009 a rally on the steps of City Hall calling for an emergency vote on the Small Business Survival Act.  Then Councilman de Blasio had a statement read on his behalf which “urged the Small Business Committee to promptly vote the Bill out of committee so the entire City Council could vote it into law and begin saving our valued small businesses.”

 

August 19, 2009 Jetro Foods in Bronx, de Blasio spoke before a group of mostly Hispanic grocery owners. Small bodega owners told of struggles they faced to survive, of month-to-month leases, extortion and rent gouging. Candidate de Blasio listened to their stories and expressed outrage and gave his full commitment to do something to stop it. De Blasio said, “There are certain responsibilities of our government that must be fully and effectively addressed with real actions and real solutions. It is unacceptable and inexcusable to allow the illegal act of extorting our small business owners to continue.” After listening to Mr. De Blasio, many of the Hispanic owners did something they never had done before in New York City, participated in an election. Many grocery store owners, at their own expense, had posters made with a picture of Mr. De Blasio and put them in their windows and asked their customers to vote for him, the posters read: Vote for Bill De Blasio he is fighting to save my business and your job.

 

 

March 19, 2010 a meeting was held in the Bronx with newly elected Public Advocate de Blasio and citywide advocates for small businesses. The purpose of the meeting was to bring to his attention that the Crisis faced by small business owners had gotten worse and the only real solution to ending it and save the small businesses was the passage of the Small Business Survival Act, which he had sponsored and championed as a Council member. The advocates made him aware of the “ Speaker’s Office continuing to rig the system” by denying a hearing on the bill , and falsely using the bogus legal roadblock they cooked up with REBNY to deny a vote on the bill when he was in the council.  PA de Blasio was very sympathetic to their request for help, and commended them for wanting to continue to fight to gain economic justice for the small business owners.  Furthermore, he encouraged them to continue and work within the democratic system because he believed the crisis they faced could only be resolved through legislation. Furthermore, he explained to the group that during his years of fighting for reform he too had experienced unfair treatment as a result of the undue political influence of special interests. The legal roadblock put in place to prevent a vote on the Jobs Survival Act, he had experienced many times and knew it was commonly used as a last resort to stop a vote. Most laws involving controversial issues almost always end up in court due to the legal challenges of the strong and well funded opposition.  He asked the advocates to send all the legal documentation to his Policy Director and he pledged his offices full support and prompt action would be taken. This meeting was the last time de Blasio would ever use the words “Crisis, landlords’ extortion, rent gouging, landlord abuses, stop our small businesses from closing, save small business, save jobs, Small Business Survival Act, or mention any laws to regulate landlords in the same sentence with New York City’s small businesses.

 

 

 

REBNY HALL’s leader Mayor de Blasio

Abandoned his progressive values for his

own political ambitions

 

Jerimiah Moss, Vanishing NY  2013- Question

Under Bloomberg, we lost countless mom-and-pop shops, some several decades old, and we gained way too many chain stores. Where do you stand on rent regulation for small businesses, especially those that have been around a long time?

 

Mayoral Candidate de Blasio –Answer

“I have been shocked by how negative many Bloomberg policies have been towards small business. Some people think of him as a business man mayor, but they need to understand he never owned a small business and doesn’t have that perspective. From my point of view, small businesses are the ultimate grassroots job creating engine and also incredibly important to the character and strength of our neighborhoods. I considered years ago the concept of commercial rent control, and don’t believe it’s workable, but what we can do is end policies that hurt mom and pop stores like the constant and arbitrary fines the city government has levied and we can use zoning laws and tax policy over time to support family owned businesses. Vey good example on Upper west side over the last few years where changes in zoning made it harder for certain chain stores to develop and easier for mom and pop shops to survive, so that’s a model I want to follow. “

 

 

Mayoral press secretary Phil Walzak emailed to reiterate key pieces of de Blasio's mayoral platform: "From cutting burdensome fines and helping...navigate regulatory rules to providing assistance in developing a business plan," Walzak wrote, "the City is dedicated to helping small businesses start, operate, and grow." “The administration recognizes the growing challenges small businesses face finding space they can afford, but has not supported commercial rent control,”

 

Kim,  “Small business owners know they are in a crisis and it’s getting worse. They fear the virtual end of the American Dream unless government intervenes on their behalf ”. “I don’t know what changed in de Blasio’s ‘Tale of Two Cities’ small business environment to motivate the change in assessment of needs. I do know, when it comes to economic policy, Mayor de Blasio has failed to keep any of his pledges.”

 

  *Sung Soo Kim founded the Korean American Small Business Service Center, the oldest small business service center in NYC; co-founding the New York City Small Business Congress and Coalition to Save New York City Small Businesses; creating the Small Business Bill of Rights given to elected officials since 1991; and was chairman of the Mayor’s First Small Business Advisory Board, appointed by Mayors Dinkins and Giuliani. He consulted on many of city’s small business regulations. For over 30 years Mr. Kim has worked daily in addressing the problems of small business own