“The Mayor today took a responsible and forward-thinking look at the state of New York City. As we continue to face difficult economic times, it is increasingly important to find ways to reduce budgets while at the same time address the needs of hardworking New Yorkers. It was important to me that the Mayor focus on the economy, job growth and the budget. I am pleased to see that he did.

The mayor presented several interesting ideas in his speech. I am particularly excited that the city’s coordinated inspections program is expanding from restaurants to new retail stores. Clearly this is a program that small businesses have benefited from and will be welcomed by thousands more small business owners.

His announcement to spare restaurants that earn an A on their health inspection from fines is also welcome news to small business owners. Two years ago the City Council launched a citywide fine amnesty program that enabled small businesses to grow and profit, and this program will help that profit margin expand even farther.

I applaud the Mayor for announcements that further recognize small businesses as the backbone of our economy. Getting credit to small businesses – MWBE businesses in particular – will provide vitally important support to the entrepreneurs of our future.

Mayor Bloomberg outlined a number of proposals that seek to improve the lives of New Yorkers. The City Council looks forward to working with the Administration and reviewing these proposals in further detail throughout the coming weeks.”