Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Promote Small Businesses

In discussing some of the items that he'd like to see addressed in the coming mayoral term, Errol Louis cites the importance of nurturing small businesses. In particular, he singles out the BTM merchants and the Willets Point firms who are threatens with extinction by the Bloomberg/Doctoroff mega-development mania.

One of the biggest deficiencies in the current mayoral campaign has been the failure, aside from the mayor's questionable claims to the contrary, to examine the city's policy towards small business. We have argued that the Bloombergistas, with special recognition to the former DCA commissioner Gretchen Dykstra, have been unrelentingly hostile to the littlest firms.

The intervention of the mayor in the fate of the BTM merchants would be a good first step in changing directions in this area. Another sign would be for City Hall to follow the inclination of someone we have criticized harshly on other issues, small business czar Dan Walsh, and sign on to the City Council pilot program on commercial waste disposers.

We'd also like to see the mayor set up a regulatory task force whose goal would be to examine the municipal code with an eye towards the streamlining of its arcane content, regs that bear no relationship to the protection of anyone and only exist as a revenue generator. In addition, the comprehensive revamping of the way the city adjudicates these fines and violations needs to be addressed.

Finally, while the mayor's reps have argued for the preservation of the city and state eminent domain laws, we would urge Mayor Mike to look to the reform of the statutes so that they afford better protections for homeowners and existing businesses. We don't expect that we'll totally agree with the city in this area but the mayor would go a long way towards cultivating an image of greater considerateness if he at least made some tangible gesture towards reform in this area.