Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Say No To The Status Quo

#SaveNYC lends its support to the argument against the May 6 "fact-finding" roundtable on small business, sponsored by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.  A grassroots movement dedicated to protecting and preserving the diversity and uniqueness of the urban fabric in New York City, #SaveNYC officially endorses the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (File #0402-2014) and rejects all other plans currently on the table.

No proposed legislation currently offered by city or state politicians will save or protect a single small business in New York City, with the exception of the SBJSA.  The status quo proposals being offered only provide non-binding negotiation and mediation, with one-year extensions before the tenant will be forced to move or close.  They leave business owners powerless without the basic commercial rights they need to negotiate fair lease terms and remain in business.  These are not solutions to the city’s small business crisis, but only ways of maintaining business as usual.

Between 1,000 and 1,200 small businesses close each month across all five boroughs due to dramatically increased rents and inequitable commercial lease processes.  The SBJSA is a fair, simple, and effective solution to restore economic equality.  The SBJSA will give commercial tenants ten-year leases, and protect them from rent gouging and unfair lease terms through mediation and binding arbitration.  This process takes into consideration the unique nature of every business and every business community, where the arbitrator’s decision is guided by strict criteria, and based upon a case by case basis to decide fair and reasonable lease terms.

Representing the voice of the people, #SaveNYC has attracted major media attention, from the New York Times to WNYC radio; gained thousands of members and thousands of signatures on a petition to pass the SBJSA; and gathered dozens of powerful photos and videos from everyday New Yorkers who demand strong, swift action from City Hall.  Although we are glad to see some much needed attention being paid to this issue, our hope is that the results of the upcoming roundtable will convince NYC Council Members and Mayor Bill de Blasio of what their constituents have been voicing — the alternative, the SBJSA is the only fair solution and should be brought to the table.  It’s time to listen to the voice of New York and give our small businesses and cultural institutions a fair deal—before it’s too late.

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