Small-business leaders are highly supportive of the Eric Adams administration’s promises to focus on out-of-the-way business corridors, improve communications with City Hall, and initiate policies to cut through red tape. During his campaign, Adams promised to institute a three-level warning system for small-business fines, provide a two-year commercial rent tax break for businesses that can demonstrate hardship, and implement an online portal to process paperwork and create a one-stop shop for small businesses and city agencies.
The proposed MyCity portal – which Adams defined as “311 for the digital age” – is seen as a particular innovation to improve the way small-business owners interact with city agencies, in everything from the permitting process to service deliveries.
At the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, CEO and President Lisa Sorin said Adams’ voting strength in her borough reflected the time he took to speak with business owners about how his administration would improve their bottom line. He prioritized using local chambers of commerce as conduits to the Department of Small Businesses Services and other city agencies, Sorin said.
At the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, CEO/President Randy Peers emphasized that he expects Adams to prioritize forgotten pockets of the city after his campaign vocalized the importance of merchant associations and business-improvement districts as on-the-ground organizing entities for store owners. Peers said most commercial corridors in Brooklyn don’t have either merchant associations or BIDs, and the Covid-19 pandemic revealed that to be a blind spot in city planning.
To Peers, Adams’ deep understanding of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods and shops bodes well for a possible administration, which he said will need to focus on the nearly 220,000 small businesses across the city. This assessment of Adams’ authenticity is echoed by constituents in central Brooklyn who have seen him as a constant presence in their business districts for much of the past decade.
Small-business owners said they expect Adams to honor the commitments he promoted throughout the primary. It is also Adams’ background as a former New York Police Department captain that is expected to alleviate stress from mom-and-pop shops across the city.
“This is Economics 101,” Peers said. “If crime is out of control, it will impact businesses, and he gets that. It’s probably his most important platform when it comes to support from the small-business community.”
Source: Crain’s New York Business