Innovative Initiative Will Help Hundreds of Small Businesses Ease the Burden of Inspection Red Tape

New York, January 20, 2010 – City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn today applauded the Bloomberg administration’s announcement, made in the Mayor’s State of the City address, to undertake coordinated City inspections for new businesses. The goal of this initiative, which was first presented in Speaker Quinn’s 2009 State of the City address, will be to cut down on extensive delays new business owners face when trying to open a new establishment.

Small businesses are required to obtain a number of permits and inspections from various City and State agencies before they can open their doors, a process that can hold up openings for months upon months. The cost to small businesses, especially in difficult fiscal times, of carrying a space for such a length of time with no revenue is an excessive burden that can potentially shut down a business before it ever opens.

Last year, in presenting her “Open for Business” proposal for easing this burden on small business owners, Speaker Quinn stated, “Agencies already coordinate surprise visits to catch businesses breaking the law. So why not coordinate, and come on the same day, to help them open their doors? We’ll work with the Administration to make every possible inspection happen together.”

Today, less than a year later, the Mayor has announced a pilot program that will achieve the time, savings and agency coordination that Speaker Quinn presented, with a goal of expanding the program further in the future.

The Council had worked behind the scenes with the Administration to develop this initiative and is excited for this launch, which will help small businesses in New York City to open and grow during these difficult economic times. The Council looks forward to working with the Administration to expand the pilot as quickly as possible in our efforts to continue to help the small businesses that play such a vital role in our city’s economy.

There are over 220,000 small businesses in New York City, and businesses with fewer than 100 employees comprise 98% of all businesses and employ nearly 50% of all New Yorkers in the private sector.

Since her announcement last year, Speaker Quinn has held various small business community forums throughout the city which have engaged small business owners. The forums have allowed business owners the opportunity to present issues that they face when trying to open and operate in the city.