Small Businesses

It’s Time to End the Bleeding 

Small businesses are the backbone of New York City and more than ever they need the support of local and federal leaders. 

On March 15, 2020, we were told we had to shut down, due to COVID-19, and stay home to “slow the spread.” Small-business owners, owners of restaurants and mom-and-pop shops across the city, were obliged to shut down for what was supposed to be 15 days, in an effort to “slow the spread.” Nine months later, many of us lost our jobs, our businesses and had to use what was left of our savings to survive. 

We can attest to the fact that most of us were ill-prepared for even small emergencies, let alone an emergency of this magnitude. In fact, most New Yorkers don’t even have $2,000 for an emergency. Many of us are living paycheck to paycheck. How were we supposed to prepare for the emergency of a lifetime? The biggest emergency in the last century. $2,000 wouldn’t cut it. 

And suffering small-business and restaurant owners…What are they to do to support their families? They couldn’t afford to start a new business nor to flee the city. They could barely afford to stick it out. They were left behind, in the dark. With little-to-no assistance, PPP or bailouts.

Many of New York’s small businesses and restaurants have closed. And they’re never coming back. Those that are still open are operating on the edge. Whether you are a Democrat, a Republican or anything in between, we must band together against this threat. While trillions of dollars sent to bail out the 1% again, New Yorkers have been left behind by our leaders with little to no help when they need it most. Small businesses are in dire need of federal and provincial support.

New York is bleeding out. How do we end the bleeding?

SOLUTIONS 

Step 1- You Deserve a Break. We need a three-year tax break for all small businesses and restaurants. This will help cushion the blow from the high-tax burden that has crippled New Yorkers and stunted their ability to get ahead. Large corporations have extensive tax breaks. It’s time to extend these privileges to New York’s small business owners. 

Step 2- Lost Wages. Every small business and restaurant owner needs income-replacement federal grant programs that will allow them to pay themselves and their employees lost wages. For restaurants in particular, this will also allow them to pay their purveyors and others in their supply chain.

With so many New Yorkers that’ve left the city, and businesses now operating with access to fewer customers, most New Yorkers have seen a dramatic decrease in pay. They need all the help they can get. Income-replacement grant programs are a great way to help those in need recoup loss wages to keep them from ending up on the edge of poverty. 

Step 3- Every small business and restaurant has to have access to SBA forgivable loans to keep them going. Corporate chains have been bailed out by SBA forgivable loans while small businesses have gone under due to lack of access to any funds during these critical times. It is time to level the playing field. The gamed is rigged against small business owners, and we have to right this wrong. 

Step 4- Benefits For All. We need to tax credits to property owners in exchange for lower rents to their small business tenants who desperately need it. The rents in New York City are insane! Without a doubt, the tax burden to owners has not been helpful, and they inevitably pass the bill on to their tenants. This has to change. My tax credit for all will benefit all. A win-win. 

Step 5- Healthcare is a Human Right. Owners and employees of small businesses need access to healthcare, especially in the COVID-19 era. This is crucial to their health. Small-business owners and entrepreneurs are responsible for a minimum 65% of job creation in the United States. Every small-business owner, entrepreneur and employee that works for them needs every bit of support possible.

Going out on your own is hard enough. I believe we should afford them the opportunity to take the risk and go out on their own by ensuring that everyone part of their operation will be covered by an affordable=healthcare program. 

Small businesses across New York city are hurting. Their families and employees are hurting. The current closure orders from Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo are proof that they are both out of touch with the needs of New York’s small-business owners.

These pandemic measures are not sustainable. These men have been playing games with the lives of small-business owners, their employees and families for far too long. This is not time to play games. This is time to take action!

We don’t have another fifteen days.

It is time for us to reopen New York NOW!

It is time for small businesses to be given the respect and support they so desperately deserve!