Monday, May 16, 2022



30 Violations Will be Eliminated Altogether, Fines Will be Reduced for 49 Violations, and Cure Periods and First-Time Warnings Will Be Introduced for 39 Violations 


Reforms Will Save New York City Small Businesses Approximately $8.9 Million Annually, Far Surpassing Previous Administration Efforts to Cut Red Tape 

  New York City Mayor Eric Adams today took major steps to reduce burdens on and cut red tape for the city’s small businesses by announcing reforms to 118 city regulations. The 118 reforms stem from Executive Order 2 (EO2) “Small Business Forward”  — signed in January 2022 — that requires city agencies to review existing business regulations and ensure local businesses face fewer needless fines and penalties without jeopardizing public health or safety. The reforms include the repeal of 30 provisions, the reduction of civil penalties associated with 49 provisions, and amendments to 39 provisions to include a first-time warning or cure period or to extend an existing cure period.   


Executing on Small Business Forward was a critical first step to fundamentally overhauling how the city engages with small business, ensuring a more seamless and supportive interaction on every front. The Small Business Advisory Commission — which was established by Executive Order 15 signed earlier this month — will partner with the city to continue this crucial work of cutting red tape, reducing fines, and introducing more cure periods and first-time warnings. The interagency working group that carried out EO2, meanwhile, will begin its work of streamlining and accelerating business processes and openings in order to launch the city’s one-stop-shop online business portal. 


"From the earliest days of my administration, I made clear that the city would be a partner to the small business community, which is the backbone of our economy,” said Mayor Adams. “The reforms we are outlining are a direct result of us listening to nearly 1,000 small business owners and putting in place a plan of action to help fill their needs. Today, we are cutting red tape, reducing burdensome regulations, and saving our small businesses approximately $8.9 million — supercharging our recovery and paving the way for an equitable, five-borough economy.”  


“Today, we are following through on our promise that New York City means business. We are making it clear that small businesses will be prioritized and supported because they create jobs and keep our neighborhoods and commercial corridors dynamic and vibrant,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “I am proud of the work our city agencies have done to advance these reforms and confident they will manifest into more jobs, more tax revenue, and more economic activity to spur our economic recovery.”  


The reforms are expected to be implemented by December 31, 2022, and they are projected to save New York City small businesses approximately $8.9 million annually. Once implemented, these efforts will represent the most successful, comprehensive citywide overhaul of small business regulations in New York City’s history


Examples of the reforms being announced today and their corresponding agencies include:  

  • Introducing a cure period when a business fails to prominently and conspicuously display its price list – New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP); 
  • Introducing a universal 60-day cure period across all Class 2 “Major Violations” and Class 3 “Lesser Violations” related to small businesses – New York City Department of Buildings (DOB); 
  • Removing the penalty for failure to maintain required bins for disposal of compostable straws in restaurants –  New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY);  
  • Increasing time for restaurants to address maintenance and replacement issues with grease interceptors – New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP);  
  • Reducing maximum fines for violations of time/temperature control for preparing foods safely –  New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH); 
  • Eliminating violations for picture tubes (older TVs with cathode ray tubes) sold or offered for sale without proper label –  DCWP; and  
  • Eliminating the violation for a failure to conspicuously post electrical work permit while work is in progress – DOB; among others. 

“Today’s announcement is another shining example of a top priority for this administration - close interagency collaboration,” said Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Kevin D. Kim. “These recommendations make the message from City Hall crystal clear: we are here to uplift small businesses, not punish them. Thank you to our sister agencies for their partnership in this important effort, and to Mayor Adams for his unwavering support of small businesses at every turn.” 

“As businesses recover from COVID-19, it is critical to create an environment where consumers and businesses alike can thrive,” said DCWP Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga. “Thanks to the mayor’s leadership, we’re reducing fines and helping businesses across New York City succeed while ensuring consumers are protected.”  

“Who’s going to be a better partner in the work of keeping a neighborhood clean — a thriving small business with a vested interest in the success of our city or a vacant storefront left unoccupied and uncleaned because red tape drove a hardworking New Yorker out of business?” said DSNY Commissioner Jessica S. Tisch. “It’s obvious that small businesses are the key to clean streets, and these reforms mean businesses, and DSNY, can spend less time worrying about fines for things like misplaced refuse bin stickers and more time working on what really matters: Building healthy, safe, and clean neighborhoods.” 

“Small Business Forward is bringing common sense back to New York City government by getting rid of outdated regulations and overly punitive violations,” said DOB Commissioner Eric Ulrich. “Mayor Adams understands that these stores and restaurants are cornerstones of their communities, and I am proud to be a part of this undertaking to support our small businesses. By giving New Yorkers the opportunity to correct more violations without incurring additional penalties, we are sending a strong message that New York is open for business again.” 

On January 4, 2022, Mayor Adams signed Executive Order 2, calling on DOB, DEP, DSNY, the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), DCWP, and DOHMH to review business regulations, with the goal of reducing fine schedules and allowing for cure periods or warnings for first-time violations. 

Small Business Forward required the six regulatory agencies to evaluate the 25 provisions of law or rules that are most frequently enforced through the issuance of notices of violations. In total, 227 violations were evaluated by the six participating agencies. Additionally, Small Business Forward required agencies to do a review of the systems used to enforce the provisions, including inspector training, administration, and the process for tracking warnings and cure periods.    

Feedback on violations and the city’s enforcement practices was solicited from over 980 small business owners through an online survey. Other stakeholders provided feedback through virtual listening sessions.   

The full report is available online.  

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