Thursday morning at the corner of Walton Avenue and East 183rd Street New York City Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio addressed the issue of what he is calling "Borough Bias" report in the number of inspections, violations, and higher fines by the New York City Health and Consumer Affairs Departments of small businesses in the four outer boroughs. DeBlasio came complete with charts of information showing that over the 11 years of the current Bloomberg administration inspections, violations, and fines have increased in the outer boroughs while decreasing in the borough of Manhattan.
From the year 2002 - 2012 DeBlasio claims that small businesses in Manhattan have seen a net decrease of 14%, while the four outer boroughs have seen a net increase with the Bronx as the high with an 8% net increase of the categories from the Department of Health. When it came to the Department of Consumer Affairs the net decrease of fines was 18% in Manhattan while all four outer boroughs experienced an increase of fine by the DCA with the Bronx again leading the way with an increase of 7%.
The report also detailed how the number of inspections by the DOH has gone up from 33,254 in 2002 to 98,176 in 2012. The number of violations has increased from 130,279 in 2002 to 311,465 in 2012. The increase of total fines went from 12.6 million dollars in 2002 to 66.2 million dollars in 2012. In the end the DeBlasio Report shows that in the past three years that DOH inspections went up by 55%, violations up by 73%, and revenue from the fines up by 90%. Figures for the DCA were higher at inspections up by 66%, violations up by 153%, and revenue from the fines up by 102%.
The DeBlasio Report also quotes Bronx Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson as saying that the city needs to administer a fair system for all five boroughs, and our small businesses need all the fiscal support they can get without having to worry about how to pay fines. A quote from Councilman Fernando Cabrera says the practice of the city making profit at the expense of small business has to stop. The city should be a facilitator of economic stability rather than eventually pushing entrepreneurs out of business. Assemblywoman Gibson was in Albany, and the event was held in Assemblyman Nelson Castro's district who was also in Albany, but Assemblyman Castro did have his Chief of Staff attend the event. There was no one from Councilman Cabrera's office at the event.
Left - Assemblyman Nelso Castro's Chief of Staff is dwarfed by Public Advocate DeBlasio as she stands next to him with a group of local business people, and merchant association leaders.
Right - DeBlasio points to an enlarged chart of the escalating amount of fine collected during the Bloomberg administration.
Left - DeBlasio points to the decreased percentage of inspections to businesses in Manhattan.
Right - DeBlasio points to the increased percentage of inspections in the Bronx.