How Mayoral Candidates Will Help Small Businesses Hit Hard By The Pandemic

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That is a part of our One Concern Explainer sequence, the place we break down the place mayoral candidates stand on points regarding New Yorkers. What do you need to hear about? E-mail us at suggestions@gothamist.com (topic line: One Concern Explainer).


New York Metropolis’s small enterprise group has been hit arduous by the pandemic, with non-essential companies pressured to shut for a time frame, eating places scaling again service, and a work-from-home mandate that introduced foot site visitors to a standstill. Any efforts made by town and federal authorities to assist maintain small companies afloat have fallen brief, and in consequence, companies have shuttered and jobs have been misplaced. In accordance with a report printed final summer season by the Partnership for New York Metropolis, a 3rd of the roughly 230,000 small companies within the metropolis had closed, many with out plans to reopen after the pandemic ends.

The vitality and sustainability of the small enterprise group is a precedence of mayoral candidates, who purpose to not solely jumpstart, however defend town’s small enterprise engine. The next have launched a set of plans that may assist the small enterprise financial system rebound from a devastating yr.

Eric Adams

On his marketing campaign web site, Adams has a multi-prong plan below his “100 Steps” proposal to save lots of small companies. He goals to offer shopkeepers higher freedom to deal with their enterprise by bringing in native chambers of commerce to deal with administrative duties; would implement a “warning system” for enterprise homeowners who violate fine-generating guidelines; and would advocate that the state ought to subsidize the salaries of small enterprise workers (by divesting from the unemployment fund) to permit homeowners to retain staff somewhat than laying them off.

Much like different candidates, Adams needs to eradicate submitting charges, present extra funding to group banks for lending, and develop Minority and Ladies-Owned Enterprise Enterprise (M/WBE) ventures, offering higher entry to capital and the power to compete for profitable metropolis contracts.

Shaun Donovan

Donovan, the previous funds director below President Barack Obama, says a key option to sustaining small companies is thru the creation of the NYC Entrepreneurship Financing Fund for companies in neighborhood business areas, in addition to for M/WBEs. The funds could be collected by way of public, personal, and philanthropic {dollars}. Regardless of a 200-page rundown of insurance policies he’d wish to implement as mayor, Donovan doesn’t elaborate on how he would appeal to these monies for the fund, although taxing shouldn’t be a think about any of his methods — he has constantly leaned towards public-private partnerships to attain his objectives for town.

Donovan additionally stated he would additionally revamp small enterprise laws, aiming to deal with “prices imposed on companies.” Not like different candidates, nevertheless, he has not known as for the suspension of fines or charges and he isn’t advocating for business hire aid. However he does need to cease producing metropolis income off the backs of small companies by creating rational laws “with an eye fixed to utility, fairness, public profit, readability, and the prices imposed on companies.”

He would additionally appoint a Metropolis Chief Fairness Officer to “monitor the enforcement of enterprise laws to make sure the truthful and constant enforcement of those guidelines throughout all of New York’s communities,” in line with his marketing campaign web site.

Kathryn Garcia

Garcia’s signature proposal to assist small companies entails the usage of a Metropolis Allow, the place any mother and pop with fewer than 100 workers will fill out simply “one easy, streamlined allow to rise up and operating” as an alternative of scrambling to different metropolis companies. The applying might be stuffed out through an app, and a metropolis response will take not more than a month versus the present months-long timeline.

Garcia additionally seeks to create a micro-loan fund for small companies with 20 staff or fewer, droop fines and charges for small companies for an undetermined time, guarantee outside eating turns into a everlasting fixture, and mandating that metropolis authorities companies purchase native.

As a means of preserving small companies from closing their doorways, Garcia would supply tax incentives to property homeowners in change for forgiving again hire.

Ray McGuire

The previous Wall Road govt appears to subsidize salaries for 50,000 small enterprise workers the place homeowners misplaced 40% of complete income in 2020 when in comparison with 2019. The subsidy would cowl 50% of an worker’s wage for one yr and function a income generator for workers and companies. McGuire—who’s framing himself as a bridge between the enterprise group and anti-capitalists—estimates the plan would value $900 million, although it is unclear how that shall be paid for given town’s funds woes.

Together with suspending allow, utility, and liquor license renewal charges for small companies, McGuire additionally plans to foyer state officers to permit small companies to maintain town portion of gross sales tax to go in the direction of bills. He is additionally advocating hire aid by way of a obscure set of “monetary aid choices,” whereas advocating for utility invoice aid by way of cost plans or by lowering prices altogether.

Seeing small companies as a part of a neighborhood’s material, McGuire additionally seeks to fund group banks to assist present short- and long-term business loans as a part of his Comeback Financial institution Initiative.

Dianne Morales

Although Morales’ marketing campaign web site web page outlining her plan to assist small companies stays clean, the previous govt director to Phipps Neighborhoods has gone on the report supporting essentially the most progressive plan for small companies, which entails providing grants to entrepreneurs affected by the pandemic and supporting a citywide business hire moratorium for companies. Morales has not defined how her plan would discover funding for these grants.

In an interview with CNBC final week, Morales provided some contours to a plan that veered extra towards supporting unspecified tax aid efforts aimed toward “producing and regenerating the financial system.”

“If you happen to couple that with different initiatives, like a public banking system and incentivizing worker-owned cooperatives, then we’re truly rebuilding our financial system in a means that prioritizes our communities and our folks and retains the ‘wealth’ native versus these massive companies that come into our communities, exploit our labor and extract our wealth,” Morales stated.

Beneath a “solidarity plan,” she has already utilized a model of the worker-owned cooperative mannequin—through which workers personal a portion of the enterprise they work in—throughout her time at Phipps, and intends to use that to New York Metropolis.

Scott Stringer

As town comptroller, Scott Stringer has launched quite a few suggestions in his official position as town’s chief fiscal officer, the place a few of his suggestions to assist repair New York Metropolis’s small enterprise financial system have translated into proposals for his marketing campaign.

However as an alternative of the multi-page proposals that his marketing campaign typically releases, Stringer’s plans to assist the small enterprise group comes right down to: tax aid, making a repository of vacant storefront companies so potential companies can occupy them, supply entrepreneurs on-line platforms to broaden their buyer base, and expedite utility processes for small companies.

Stringer included a few of these proposals in a December 2020 report his workplace launched forward of the vacation season, detailing how you can generate small enterprise exercise.

Maya Wiley

Wiley’s overarching plan in saving small companies rests on waiving charges small shopkeepers face when opening or sustaining a enterprise whereas additionally offering them with federally-funded grants.

With each greenback counting, Wiley proposes that metropolis taxes to take care of a liquor license together with water, sewer, different charges imposed by the well being and client affairs departments, must be suspended.

Wiley’s so-called “regulatory vacation” means $100 million in income generated from charges and potential fines imposed on small companies would disappear, although Wiley has reportedly said the plan would put small companies “on a pathway to restoration.” Her plan would additionally embody a $30 million program for federally-backed grants, although such an effort requires federal help, which she stated she’d must foyer for if elected.

Andrew Yang

Yang, as soon as a small enterprise entrepreneur who bought his tutoring firm to Kaplan Take a look at Prep, goals to maintain 15,000 mother and pop operations from closing their doorways ought to he turn into the following mayor.

Some instant priorities he envisions embody getting New York Metropolis’s enterprise group vaccinated to start the method of restoration, which is at present underway. At Metropolis Corridor, Yang would appoint a small enterprise czar who will coordinate with the heads of Small Enterprise Companies, Division of Shopper Affairs and Employee Protections, and the Workplace of Minority and Ladies-owned Enterprise Enterprises to cut back crimson tape in opening small companies quicker. He needs to do that by serving as a information for potential small enterprise homeowners, providing recommendation and finest practices to acquire a authorities contract.

Together with imposing a emptiness tax on business property homeowners (which requires state approval), Yang would additionally see the passage of the Small Enterprise Jobs Survival Act, which might assure decade-long leases.

Different strategies to save lots of small companies embody waiving utility/renewal charges, enacting a one-year moratorium on fines, permitting shopkeepers to repair violations as an alternative of being penalized for them, extending the cap on supply charges, and making a low to no-interest mortgage program.

Yang additionally backed Garcia’s proposal for an app to streamline the method of opening up a enterprise.



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