SBC - The Small Business Congress
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Websites: Savenycjobs.org
Media Advisory Contact: Steven Barrison
Aug 11, 2016
Real Estate Lobby’s political cronies planning the biggest
“Trojan Horse” to stop Small Business Jobs Survival Act
and keep status quo. If successful, the end of independent small businesses and beginning of major recession in NYC
NYC lawmakers leave progressive values,
ethics, and integrity
on convention floor with the balloons.
Return to City Hall to continue business as usual “rigging the system” against mom & pop businesses
Dateline Aug 11 , 2016 NYC,
Will NYCs “super delegate” lawmakers be inspired by all the progressive proclamations made by the Democratic leadership? Will they return home and enthusiastically promote and support progressive legislation that will offer real solutions to the real problems NYer’s face? Most lawmakers will if the legislation deals exclusively with “social issues”, like crime, education or housing. But if legislation addresses changes in economic policy or offers economic justice, the Democratic leadership of NYC will not seriously support it. In fact, several leading lawmakers have joined with REBNY (real estate lobby) in continuing “rigging the system” to stop any vote on the most important economic progressive legislation in the council, The Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SB Jobs Survival Act).
The SB Jobs Survival Act is the greatest threat to REBNY’s twenty five year plus control over City Hall because it would regulate the commercial lease renewal process which has been exclusively in the hands of the landlords. In NYC, unlike residential tenants, commercial tenants have NO rights when their leases expire. This has produced decades long huge windfall profits for real estate speculators and made NYC the center for world real estate investment. At the same time it has made NYC the worst major city for long established business owners to survive or be profitable when their leases expire. It has allowed a handful of real estate speculators to hold hostage the future of our city’s entrepreneurs, the jobs of their employees and our local economy.
The SB Jobs Survival Act would change the present manipulated and grossly unfair failed lease renewal process by beginning to level the playing field for small business owners when their leases expire. The legislation would successfully restore a fair and orderly market place by giving business owners the right to renewal (10 years) their leases and equal rights with their landlords to negotiate fair lease terms. And provide for independent arbitration if mutual agreement can’t be reached. What progressive lawmaker would not want to give basic rights to their mom and pop businesses who are being forced to close due to sky high rent increases? Or give rights to save the jobs of their employees? What real progressive lawmaker would turn their backs on business owners who face a Crisis to survive? What African American lawmaker or lawmakers who represents an African American community would not give rights to keep a major pathway open for social mobility for low income families? Or give rights to businesses that are the only hope for the hard to employ NYer’s to gain jobs. What lawmaker who represent immigrant families would not give rights to protect the life’s investment and scarifies of the majority small business immigrant owners in NYC? Or give rights needed to protect the thousands of mostly immigrant owners who are being extorted for cash by unscrupulous landlords or their agents. What true progressive lawmaker who has respect and appreciation for our city’s arts and cultural organizations would not give rights to protect and preserve them? What true progressive lawmaker who represents a unique neighborhood in our city would not give rights to stabilize and preserve the character and spirit of that neighborhood?
We know the answer of who would not give rights to small business owners to survive, its ambitious career politicians, who’s only goal is gaining political power at the expense of the voters and remaining silent as the American Dream is being destroyed for our business owners. Lawmakers who have abandoned their progressive values and abdicated their responsibilities and given control to REBNY in exchange for campaign funds and political influence. These once proud progressives flipped when they fulfilled the three litmus tests REBNY requires before they get any REBNY election funding.
Lawmakers must pledge to keep in place the economic policy and invisible government that successfully carried out the Conservative Republican Trickle Down economics of former Mayor’s Giuliani and Bloomberg.
Second, pledge to continue to make a priority protecting the profits of real estate and keep in tact the full use of the government to maximize the profits of the banking and real estate industry.
And finally, to use the government to continue “rigging the system” to deny any “honest debate” and vote on the SB Jobs Survival Act or any legislation that would give rights to the business owners during the lease renewal process.
REBNY and their City Hall cronies began “rigging the system” in June 2009 when they schemed with the Speaker’s office to cook up a bogus legal roadblock to stop a vote on the SB Jobs Survival Act.
Contrary to several REBNY political cronies, who purposely misstated that the bill has been collecting dust for 30 years, the truth is, in 2009 the bill had 32 sponsors including the entire Small Business Committee and a pledge from the Committee Chairman David Yassky, “ there is no option to do nothing , we can’t allow our job creators to disappear.”
In the beginning, all the city’s true progressive lawmakers were strong supporters and sponsors of the SB Jobs Survival Act and earnestly opposed REBNY’s shenanigans to stop the bill and deny democracy and economic justice for our business owners. Today, these same lawmakers, all with more power, willingly have joined REBNY in continuing “rigging the system” to stop any vote on the SB Jobs Survival Act. Even as the crisis worsens spreading to every neighborhood in the city and the courts issuing warrants to evict businesses on average 542 per month* (savenycjobs.org for court records) , with an estimated 1,200 closing each month, several leading lawmakers remain silent and support continuing REBNY’s seven year campaign to rig the system against saving our small businesses, even if it means destroying the “backbone of our economy”.
Trojan Horses offering false hope to mom and pop
These once progressives who abandoned their progressive principles and who have no innate sense of justice, flipped to help REBNY’s scheme to protect landlords’ windfall profits, they did so in several ways. Some purposely lied, mimicking REBNY’s main talking point, that the bill has legal problems, even though a 2010 extensive in depth Legal Review Panel’s report found the bill fully constitutional. They knowingly made this false claim when giving an excuse as to why the SB Jobs Survival Act could not get a hearing. Not one government legal authority or REBNY’s attorneys could ever produce any case law to substantiate this bogus claim, nothing!
Others used their offices and influence too collaborate with the administration in creating Trojan Horses of false hope that looked and sounded like sincere efforts seeking real solutions to small businesses’ problems when in reality they would not save a single small business or a single NYer’s job, but kept the status quo. These, many worthless initiatives and programs for struggling small business owners did nothing to address a single real problem faced by our desperate owners. Looking past these REBNY orchestrated “bells and whistles”; small business workshops and forums, town hall meetings, new BIDS, new initiatives and government programs all giving proclamations of help and assistance, but with the disguised old goal to distract, delay and destroy the SB Jobs Survival Act and give political cover to lawmakers as the crisis worsened.
The final betrayal of Democracy and the final Nail in the Coffin for
Mom & Pop owners
Our Town: May 13, 1015 Don’t fall for the lie that doing a little is doing enough
If the hallmark of leadership is how a lawmaker addressed a Crisis, then the city’s elected officials should be ashamed at the dishonest and disgraceful treatment of the crisis our small businesses face to survive. In 2009, the largest small business study in history * USA Latin Chamber (savenycjobs.org) proved our small businesses faced a crisis. This was accepted by then Chairman of Small Business Committee David Yassky who did his job and held a public hearing to find the best solution to stop the closing of long established businesses. The majority (32) of city council members supported his committee’s choice, The Small Business Survival Bill as the “cornerstone” to save our businesses. Three, then council members, Bill de Blasio, Melissa Mark–Viverito, and Letisha James also publicly acknowledged the crisis and were proud sponsors of the SB Jobs Survival Act.
(savenycjobs.org for background statements of support)
Why did it take six years and 37,000 court warrants to evict businesses and est. 120,000 businesses closing before it took the majority of the council to acknowledge our businesses were still in a crisis and needed a real solution? The local media were way ahead of our lawmakers in drawing attention to the crisis and the need for legislation to save our businesses.
Our Town: Oct 1, 2014
Editorial: Saving Small Business
It's Time for Action on Small Business
What is it going to take to finally get people to pay attention to the small business crisis in New York City?
A sense of history of the area has been lost. Quintessential New York characters are gone. The richness and variety that brought many of us to New York in the first place have been gutted. In their place, more often than not: chain stories and luxury retailers, among the few prospects that can afford the rents as they now stand. There are two ways to look at this crisis: The first is to say that New York has always been, thus, that ours is a constantly molting, ever-evolving place, and that the only thing constant is the blinding pace of change. That may be true, but it doesn't account for the number of businesses opened 20, 30, 40 years ago that finally are being forced to surrender now, in 2014.
Villager: March 19, 2015
Editorial: Let the S.B.J.S.A. finally come up for a vote!
Following last Thursday night’s Villager/V.I.D. forum, we have repeatedly asked the current Council speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, if she will let the full Council vote on the bill. To date, we have not gotten a response. However, it’s high time for a vote — and let’s see, for once, where our councilmembers really come down on this critical issue. Simply put, small business owners are more than owed a vote on the S.B.J.S.A. In many cases, they have invested their life’s savings into their stores, making sacrifices, working long hours to sustain businesses in this city. They have created jobs and are employing mostly local residents. Candidates and elected officials, in their speeches, regularly proclaim that small businesses are the “backbone of our economy, the engine of job creation.” That should at the very least entitle these merchants to a vote — that is, if our elected officials really mean what they say. It’s time for local politicians to stop cynically playing both sides of the fence, and show where they honestly stand. It’s time to let democracy run its course. For crying out loud — after all these decades, and before all of Manhattan becomes little more than an overbuilt, unaffordable, soulless mall of “baby Walmarts” and other chain stores — let the S.B.J.S.A. finally come to the floor for a vote!
Town and Village: January 8, 2016
Editorial: SBJSA could be the only hope for saving mom-and-pop shops
Owners of small businesses in this city are in desperate need of some bargaining power because right now they have none. At any time, any business that is doing well and meeting the needs of the community it serves could still disappear overnight, whether it’s due to an obscenely high rent hike or a refusal from a speculative landlord to even offer a renewal at any price. So, before any more time, and incidentally businesses, are lost, members of the City Council and of course the mayor need to get behind this. Otherwise, they may as well sit back with their feet up as the city continues its transformation into a strip mall.
When it comes to big real estate policy in NYC are De Blasio and Mark-Viverito the same as Bloomberg and Quinn?
Small Business owners should have been optimistic about their futures when a new progressive government was elected with pledges to end economic inequality and take the city in another direction from Mayor Bloomberg. The reason being, three of the city’s top political leaders; Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Mark-Viverito and Public Advocate James were strong supporters and sponsors of the SB Jobs Survival Act, as well as aware the business owners faced a Crisis. At the very least, small business owners who had been marginalized with no voice under Bloomberg and Quinn’s reign, would get an honest debate and hearing under the new progressive government.
Even with 27 councilmember sponsors of the SB Jobs Survival Act and the crisis spreading citywide to every neighborhood, the SB Jobs Survival Act has been denied a public hearing. REBNY’s influence over even self- proclaimed progressive lawmakers is predominant at City Hall.
Mayor de Blasio, betrayed his progressive values when he flipped and kept unchanged the entire Bloomberg anti-small business economic policy. In an endorsement interview with the Villager in 2013, his answer to the question of support for SB Jobs Survival Act was “he had been told by the Council’s lawyers that the S.B.J.S.A. was “not legal,” and he declined to discuss it any further. This knowingly false excuse was later echoed by Public Advocate James when asked by a reporter for the Villager who was present at a June 2013 Queens Small Business Forum for the bill and heard James’ strong support for the bill, now PA James was mimicking REBNY’s talking point excuse.
The new self proclaimed progressive Speaker, Mark-Viverito also flipped and abandoned her progressive values when she carried on the anti-small business policies of her predecessor, former Speaker Christine Quinn. As well as continuing to allow the use of the Speaker’s office to “rig the system” against the struggling mom and pop businesses by keeping the policy of inaction as our small businesses continue being destroyed. In fact, Mark-Viverito told The Villager in June 2015 that she would hold hearings on the SB Jobs Survival Act, to date, she has failed to follow through on her word.
Our city’s political leadership has done everything in its power to stop any action on the SB Jobs Survival Act and keep the status quo. Even going so far as to endorse legislation that REBNY created
30 years ago, which was called the Landlord’s bill and immediately rejected by the city’s business community.
What is the last action a lawmaker should consider when dealing with a growing crisis? Announce a special task force to Study the problem. A task force created by special interests with handpicked members to assure only recommendations to keep the status quo. That is exactly what our self proclaimed progressives have been ordered to do by REBNY.
Last Trojan Horse from City Hall
Speaker’s “Study” is no solution but an insult to Democracy, progressive principles and struggling small business owners. More Delay
Speaker Mark-Viverito , State of City Address 2016
“Mom-and-pop shops are the economic heart of our city,”. “But skyrocketing real estate prices mean that when small businesses have to renew their leases, they often face significant and unaffordable rent increases — forcing many to relocate, or close completely.”
“So this year the Council will launch a planning study to develop recommendations for strengthening our small business community through land-use policy and other tools, such as tax incentives”
Speaker Mark-Viverito is doing what Speaker Quinn did, block the true progressive lawmakers (27 sponsors) from having an honest debate on the crisis and a chance to vote on and pass progressive legislation to end it. If our city’s once progressive lawmakers are successful in creating a Study Task Force, it will be the end of all independent small businesses in the near future. Year’s of unchecked and unregulated real estate speculation has wrecked havoc upon the commercial rent market. Leading to not just out of control rent increases forcing long established businesses to close, but shorter length leases stopping all growth and unscrupulous landlord abuses like demanding cash from mostly immigrant owners when their leases expire.
Sung soo Kim, * widely regarded as, the Godfather of Small Businesses states the future of businesses if the Speaker’s Study is created. Kim, “What is clear to any true progressive legislator is that the absolute essential component of any law to stop the closing of businesses is the right to renewal of the lease, without which all proposals will fail and all independent owners in New York City will eventually be forced to close. Instead of yet another tax payer paid delaying study benefiting only REBNY with the goal of keeping the status quo, the Council speaker must begin public hearings on all proposed solutions to address this crisis and stop the closing of our city’s small business owners.”
*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.