While the city and developers have been heralding bad jobs as “opportunities”, they have been stalling on providing real support to small businesses which would also help protect existing jobs. Nearly 50% of small businesses in NYC are immigrant-owned, and those along employ nearly half a million New Yorkers and contribute $195 billion to the city’s gross domestic project annually. Small businesses have already been disappearing because of rising land values, corporate competition, and the lack of protections and there’s been a multi-year, and ongoing, effort to pass legislation to change this.

These matters have forced an emergency situation during COVID-19, where one-third of small businesses are at risk of shuttering and many were left out of the only support offered

The Small Business Jobs Survival Act has long been the target of the advocates of this community and must be passed. 

  • Gives tenants renewing commercial leases the right to demand a 10-year lease.
  • Allows commercial tenants to bring lease renewals to arbitration if they think the terms are unacceptable.
  • Limits non-residential security deposits to two months’ rent.
  • Bans under-the-table cash extortion by landlords upon lease renewals (though we’re not entirely sure how that one might work).

United for Small Business NYC of community organizations across New York City fighting to protect small businesses and non-residential tenants from the threat of displacement, with a focus on owner-operated, minority-run businesses that serve low-income and minority communities. They outline a larger set of policy demands for city, state and federal officials that should be undertaken “swiftly”.

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