Brooklyn Politicians Representing “Red Zones” Fight for Local Businesses

Brooklyn elected officials speaking at the SOS rally. (Office of Senator Felder)

On Monday, November 2nd, State Senator Simcha Felder, Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein and Councilman Kalman Yeger, and Councilman Chaim Deutsch attended an “Save Our Stores” rally with small business owners at 16th Ave. and 49th Street in Boro Park.

There, they announced they would be proposing legislation to cancel all fines and summons that businesses incurred during the coronavirus crisis. They also called on nonessential businesses to be reopened.

The Save Our Stores Act will be proposed in the New York City Council by Yeger, the State Senate by Felder, and the New York State Assembly by Eichenstein.

“What kind of message is this from the government, that if you live in an orange zone, you’re permitted to provide for your families, if you live in a yellow zone, you’re permitted to provide for your families, but if you live in a red zone…you cannot provide for your families?” said Deutsch. “We have spent billions of dollars invested in small businesses…the government has destroyed everything in eight short months. This demonstrates the failure to us by government…this is a target against small business owners in our community. We need to stand up, in one unified voice, to stand up for those businesses, to stand up for our families…enough of essential person, non-essential. People need to pay their bills.”

“We will not be complicit in the pillaging of New York’s hardworking small business owners. Months of lock down brought our small businesses to the brink of extinction. These exorbitant fines will be the last nail in the coffin…We have a responsibility to do everything in our power to save New York’s small business owners from any additional burdens during these exceptional times, and forgive these senseless Covid-related fines immediately. The legislation my colleagues and I are proposing is an SOS to save our stores,” said Felder.

“As small businesses were on the verge of bankruptcy, New York City decided to harass and unjustly issue summonses and fines while big box chain stores were allowed to thrive,” said Eichenstein. “It’s a sad day when our own government delivers a fatal blow to business owners who are about to lose it all. This legislation is a step forward in doing right by our small business owners and perhaps can help them get back on their feet and focus on reopening their businesses as they just try to make an honest living.”

“Senator Felder’s legislation is exactly the right step towards achieving justice for our overburdened community businesses,” said Yeger. “Over the last few weeks, it has become so obvious that our community is being targeted with enforcement unseen anywhere else in New York…The only way to address these summonses is through legislation that will zero out the penalties.”