As De Blasio Promises Paid Personal Time, Small Business Owners Push Back

Caitlyn Rosen

The City Council took steps Tuesday aimed at addressing what some have described as a crisis of small business closures across the city.

Passing a package of bills that now head to Mayor Bill de Blasio for approval or veto, the Council is seeking to mandate more city outreach to small business and studies of business closures. The legislation does not, however, directly address concerns expressed by members of the business community about over-regulation.

Under de Blasio and two different City Council classes, several major new mandates on businesses have been passed, with another sweeping measure — two weeks of mandated paid personal time off — now on the table, with de Blasio promising passage by year’s end and vocal opposition from small business owners.

The Council on Tuesday passed Intro. 1471, a bill sponsored by Council Member Helen Rosenthal that requires the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) to provide training and education for small businesses; Intro. 1472, also sponsored by Council Member Rosenthal, requires the Department of Finance to collect and publish data related to leases and vacancies on the city’s commercial properties; and Intro. 1049, sponsored by Council Member Carlina Rivera, requires SBS to, every three years, complete an assessment of the state of storefront businesses in at least 20 of the city’s community districts in what some say would be the city’s first real survey of storefronts, as well as a national first.

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