For the first time since 2009, the City Council Committee on Small Business will hold a public hearing on the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA). The Bill (Intro. 737-A) is similar to one first proposed in 1986 by then-Council Member Ruth Messinger of the Upper West Side. The hearing is this Monday, 10/22, at 1pm at Council Chambers at City Hall and is open to the public. The SBJSA would amend New York City law to help preserve small businesses by:

  • Requiring commercial landlords to notify commercial tenants 180 days before their leases expire and inform them whether they will be granted an option to renew and, if not, provide a valid reason why
  • Requiring commercial landlords to give small-business renters the option of signing a 10-year lease
  • Enabling small business owners to send lease disputes to binding arbitration
  • Capping security deposits
  • Imposing “prohibitions on landlord retaliation.”

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and are major employers,” Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez said in a statement when he reintroduced the bill in March. “The pizzerias, the bodegas, the hardware stores, the Jewish bakeries, the Indian restaurants, among many others, have all shaped the character and culture of New York City that must be protected.”  A 2009 version of the bill was quashed when then-Speaker Christine Quinn refused to bring it to the floor for a vote, citing concerns from Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY).

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