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Join us this Wednesday in support of legislation S1175A and A5081A for small business street vendors.
As director of Brooklyn Legal Service Corporation A’s (Brooklyn A) Community & Economic Development Program, I head the Commercial Lease Assistance Program (CLA) through which I have the privilege of working with New York City’s brick-and-mortar small business owners. Since July 1, 2021 alone we have represented over 300 brick-and-mortar small businesses. Since the founding of the CLA program four years ago, CLA has represented over 1,700 brick-and-mortar small businesses in all five boroughs. The number-one problem faced by our small business owners is the unaffordability of commercial rent. It is de facto the single most consequential barrier in allowing brick-and-mortar small businesses to exist, succeed and survive.
Of course, New York City’s small business owners consist of both brick-and-mortar and street vendor businesses. These small businesses complement and rely upon each other. The sentiment shared by our CLA clients is that both brick-and-mortar and street vendor small business owners suffer from the limited protections existing for New York City’s small businesses.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this fact, it has not created this reality. The pandemic has simply magnified the plight of all New York City’s small businesses. Proposed legislation S1175A and A5081A would decriminalize small business street vendors and create a pathway to entrepreneurship for women, immigrant and veteran New Yorkers.
Small businesses located in storefronts or as street vendors are integral to the fabric of our great city. They keep New York City’s vibrancy and flavor intact. Without these businesses, New York City faces the fate of the vacant towns across America with ghosts of the mom-and-pop shops and vendors of the past, or the merry-go-round of big-box chain stores and empty streets.
Brooklyn A stands with all of New York City’s small businesses in their storefronts and their street carts.
Shop owners and street cart owners are coming together to share their side of the NYC small business story. Join us at 3PM this Wednesday, February 2 for a small business virtual forum. RSVP here.
Email us at [email protected] or call (718) 487-2300 to discuss your rights, get updates on the commercial eviction moratorium, or access any of our services for small business owners, tenants, homeowners and taxpayers. For a list of our legal services, visit bit.ly/bkakit.
Help us spread the word to your family, friends, and neighbors by forwarding or sharing this information. With your help, our legal services can help more New Yorker business owners to protect themselves, and protect and strengthen their businesses.
Alham Usman, Esq.
Director, Community & Economic Development Program
Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A