At 11:00 am today, the Small Business Congress, a coalition of 70 small business organizations, will hold a press conference in support of a bill to prevent the flood of small store evictions that have plagued New York City under the term of Mayor Mike Bloomberg. The bill, no intro number yet, would mandate binding arbitration before a landlord could evict a retail tenant.
The Congress, led by the indefatigable Sung Soo Kim, highlights the necessity of the legislation in the group's press release: "New York State is ranked 45 out of 51 states according to the...Small Business and Entrepreneurial Council's Small Business Survival Index of 2006...What a shame!" The release goes on to detail the rising tide of retail store evictions which has climbed precipitously under the Bloomberg big business agenda-and these are stores that have been forced out indirectly; this is in addition to all those businesses that the Bloombergistas have actively kicked to the curb (see Bronx Terminal Market).
So while Bloomberg talks about his business bona fides, he leaves out the fact that he's the city's chief shill for the biggest and richest businesses-with the smaller firms-particularly those on the neighborhood commercial strips-left to suck hind teat. Just remember how the mayor, in knee jerk fashion, leaped to support a mid town Costco; contradicting effortlessly his putative promotion of congestion relief for the CBD.
The small retailers of New York are suffering greatly from high rents, high taxes, and a regulatory scheme that would make the Soviets proud. Relief is needed, but the current administration is likely to ignore their plight-it's too busy looking after the general welfare-of the businesses that are least in need of its help.