Two bills aim to save city’s mom-and-pops

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer introduces her bill at a press conference in March.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer introduces her bill at a press conference in March.

By Sabina Mollot

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer has promised to make 2016 the year of the mom-and-pop shop.

Nine months after proposing new legislation she believes will throw a lifeline to small businesses forced out of their premises by steep rent increases, Brewer said she now considers it priority.

“It’s definitely imminent. Robert Cornegy, the chair of the small businesses committee, has been trying to carve out the best possible bill,” said the borough president, who has been holding roundtables with proprietors of small businesses over the past several months.

The legislation has been likened to a bill that’s collected dust at City Hall for about 30 years called the Small Business Jobs and Survival Act (SBJSA).

Brewer has faced criticism for not supporting the SBJSA but she insists it is a folly that would never be passed by the City Council. Critics, including the Real Estate Board of New York, have blasted SBJSA as being unconstitutional.

REBNY President John Banks, said, “For nearly four centuries, the one constant about New York City has been that it is always changing. The city’s dynamism, in part, is driven by its ever-changing population, building stock and mix of businesses. Understandably, some don’t like change. However, such feelings don’t justify unconstitutional legislation like the Small Business Jobs Survival Act.”

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