The Department of Small Business Services, headed by Commissioner Dan Walsh, is supposed to enhance the ability of neighborhood stores to do business but the Commissioner also wears another hat: Commissioner of Employment. With these two hats Walsh gets transformed into the headless horseman. To wit: when the Fifth Avenue BID in Sunset Park was concerned about the impact of the IKEA project in Red Hook they got the clear message that Walsh, as employment honcho, disapproved because the project, he said, would generate jobs.
Wait a second commissioner. Did you evaluate if these jobs would come at the expense of existing store owners in Brooklyn? Using this logic we could easily see Walsh ("I’m just following orders") standing up in support of Wal-Mart and BJs. Certainly that’s a defensible position but not for someone entrusted with nurturing small business.