Originally Posted on June 29, 2015 

New York, NY— Council Member Margaret Chin announced the signing into law today of legislation that will create small business advocates that will fight to ensure that small business owners get the help they need from city, state, and federal agencies.

The legislation by Council Members Chin, Cornegy, and Speaker Mark-Viverito, Intro 724A, was passed by the Council earlier this month. The bill creates small business advocates within the Dept. of Small Business Services to help New York business owners navigate often complex and intersecting rules and regulations, and to make sure that they obtain appropriate government services.

At today’s bill signing at City Hall, Council Member Chin said, “This bill will empower small business owners throughout our city by creating advocates who will work closely with our entrepreneurs to better understand city rules and regulations, and to help facilitate their interactions with government agencies.”

“Far too often, small business owners – especially those with limited English skills – encounter difficulties navigating essential government services, and are often unaware of the great programs already in place at the Dept. of Small Business Services. Intro 724, passed with the invaluable support of Speaker Mark-Viverito and Council Member Cornegy, will embolden these job creators by giving them a strong voice inside city government to advocate for their interests.”

Council Member Cornegy, Chair of the Committee on Small Business, said, “New York City’s small business owners are independent and resourceful. They don’t reach out to the city unless they really need help. The small business advocates law will ensure that in times of need, business owners have a clear path to meaningful help, rather than getting frustrated or lost in the shuffle. I’m so glad for Council Member Chin’s experience and determination in developing this bill and advancing it in the City Council.”

The duties of the advocates would include:

  1. Receiving and resolving issues related to agency inspections, rules, and adjudication of violations;
  2. Helping small businesses access government programs and services; and
  3. Identifying opportunities for policy and program development to strengthen small businesses.

The legislation would take effect 90 days after being signed into law by the Mayor.