NYC Expanding Violation-Forgiveness for Small Businesses

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky/File)

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that the City is expanding relief for small businesses, including eliminating fines for first time violations and expanding the universe of violations that will have cure periods.

As announced at the Mayor’s State of the City speech, the de Blasio administration has cut small business fines by over 40% since 2014 and will cut an additional 10 percent by the time the Mayor leaves office. The administration has put over $100 million back in the pockets of small business owners, and this relief will raise the amount of money saved yearly from $20 million to $26 million.

“New York City is not New York City without our small businesses,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We will not be a city that gives in to corporate takeover. Instead, we’ll fight for our mom-and-pops and do all we can to help them thrive.”

Fines subject to relief include select Department of Buildings, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Transportation, Department of Sanitation, and Department of Consumer and Worker Protection violations. The City will work with the City Council to review more than 75 violations. DOB and DOT can implement their own rule changes, and will begin providing additional relief in the fall.

To ensure that businesses are aware of these changes, these agencies will update their summonses to include clear and easy explanations for how to fix the violation. In partnership with these agencies, the Department of Small Business Services will also organize a canvassing effort across the city to spread the word.

“The expansion of small business services for NYC’s community is a deeper investment in the businesses that make up the backbone of our economy,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. “Businesses will now have a greater opportunity to comply with regulations prior to being fined, which puts money back in their pockets and creates a safer and more secure City.”

“Small businesses are the cornerstone of neighborhoods across the city, and we’re cutting red tape so they can better serve their fellow New Yorkers,” said DOB Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca. “By making more fines curable while expanding on outreach and education, we are building on the work we’ve already done to lighten the load on owners and entrepreneurs. We look forward to working with our colleagues in government to grow these efforts and help all small businesses be informed and avoid fines in the first place.”