Small Business Advisory Commission Releases Report with Recommendations to Support Small Businesses

The Small Business Advisory Commission released its report for recommendations to help small businesses. Image Credit: SBAC.

On June 30, 2023, the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) released the inaugural report of its New York City Small Business Advisory Commission (“SBAC”), highlighting eight recommendations to assist small businesses in New York City.

The Small Business Advisory Commission was founded by Mayor Eric Adams to advise the Mayor and other policymakers on how best to support the City’s small businesses. The 44-member Commission, chaired by Small Business Services Commissioner Kevin D. Kim, comprises small business professionals, community leaders, and representatives from the Administration, Chambers of Commerce, merchants’ associations, and Business Improvement Districts. The Commission’s broad expertise covers all aspects of the City’s small business community.

The Commission’s first-ever report analyzes the impact of state and local policies, laws, and regulations on small business owners. It also provides recommendations to improve the experience of small businesses in the city, as well as specific plans and timelines to implement them. It builds on the Adams Administration’s efforts to streamline city bureaucracy through the Small Business Forward and BLAST initiatives, which will save small businesses millions in avoided fines, violations, and outdated processes.

The recommendations address issues surrounding education and outreach, enforcement and operations, and licensing, fines and fees. Some suggestions include improving communication between City agencies and small business owners, reviewing how fines and fees may impact certain businesses unevenly, and expanding the reach and scope of public-private partnerships.

To improve education and outreach, SBAC recommends leveraging partnerships with external stakeholders and creating content to attract small business owners and encourage sharing. Furthermore, to improve enforcement and operations, SBAC recommends using MyCity Business Portal to educate small businesses about rules and regulations, as well as developing government navigation/compliance education for small businesses. Finally, to address the challenges associated with licensing, fines, and fees, SBAC recommends studying the street vending industry to collect data that can influence vending policy; charging the Mayor’s Office of Operations with identifying additional fines, violations, and inspection processes impacting small businesses; ensuring that City regulatory agencies consider how new rules and regulations impact businesses; and revisiting the qualifications to becoming a registered journeyperson. To read the full report, click here.

The Commission will begin to implement its project plans this month, and again review the City’s regulatory environment to issue new recommendations in June 2024.

Mayor Adams stated, “By establishing this commission, we have assembled a diverse group of professionals who understand the challenges faced by small business owners across all five boroughs. Their recommendations will greatly improve the small business experience in our city. From enhancing communication channels to addressing the impact of fines and fees, these recommendations pave the way for a more supportive environment.”

SBS Commissioner Kim stated, “By convening small business owners, trusted community partners and key city agencies, we have identified common-sense initiatives to help small businesses thrive. SBS and SBAC will continue this crucial work to make New York into the ‘City of Yes.’”

Council Member Julie Menin stated, “Unveiling the inaugural report of the NYC Small Business Advisory Commission marks a significant milestone in making New York City a more inclusive and entrepreneur friendly city. This report identifies key challenges facing our small business community and lays out multiple transformative recommendations that will uplift our small businesses. The Commission has truly given valuable guidance for policymakers to develop innovative policies to support the City’s goals.”

By: Dylan Shusterman (Dylan is the CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2025.)


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