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Brooklyn Chamber applauds mayor’s efforts to reduce fines on small businesses

January 5, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Randy Peers unveils a new program to provide micro loans for small businesses. Photo: Paul Frangipane/Brooklyn Eagle
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Randy Peers, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, applauded Mayor Eric Adams’ “Small Business Forward” executive order on Tuesday, designed to reduce and reform regulations and fines facing small businesses.

“We applaud Mayor Adams for his commitment today to seriously address the 

issue of excessive fines and violations that have been plaguing small businesses for decades. This is exactly the right message at the right time for small businesses that have been struggling to keep their doors open throughout this pandemic,” Peers said.

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“These are the businesses that serve our communities day in and day out, and the Small Business Forward programs shows that we finally have a mayor who understands their pain, and who is truly looking to dismantle the challenges they face each day,” he added

Adams’ executive order builds upon Local Law 80 and calls on the Department of Buildings, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Sanitation, Fire Department, Department of Consumer and Worker Protection and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to review business regulations, with the goal of reducing fine schedules and allowing for cure periods or warnings for first-time violations.

The new executive order will require that:

  • Within three months, each agency identify the 25 violations that are responsible for the greatest number of summonses and fines issued to small businesses and submit the following:
  • There should be recommendations for which violations should be reformed via a) elimination, b) fine schedules scaled back, c) allowance of a first-time warning, and/or d) allowance for a cure period for first-time violations.
  • If no reform action is recommended for a violation, agencies need to provide an explanation as to why the status quo should be maintained (e.g. serious health or safety risk)
  • Agencies need to identify the necessary actions for reform (e.g. rule-making, city legislation, state legislation, etc.)
  • All enforcement agencies should immediately review and update their violation tracking systems, inspection procedures and trainings, and the language on their summons tickets in order to ensure that they are prepared to introduce cure periods and first-time warnings for violations in compliance with this EO.
  • An Inter-Agency Working Group, to be chaired by the deputy mayor for economic and workforce development and the Small Business Services commissioner, needs to be formed to review agency submissions and to oversee the ensuing business regulatory reform process.

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