Small Business Rally



A Call to Action 
 

On June 28th, 2018, Bronx Councilmember Mark Gjonaj, alongside small-business owners and various local politicians, organized a rally outside City Hall to advocate for the protection of small businesses across New York City.   

According to Gjonaj, 80% of all jobs in the city are created by businesses with fewer than 10 workers, stating that, “the Big Apple’s well-being is dependent on the health of its small-business sector”.

Among the wave of advocates supporting Gjonaj’s vision to empower small business, many held up signs that reflect the multitude of concerns small business owners face. Issues such as high taxes, unnecessary fines, harsh regulations, and rising water and sewage rates were addressed by Councilmembers and Chamber of Commerce representatives across Manhattan and the Bronx who spoke on behalf of the small business owners.

Flyers were distributed illustrating the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA), a bill Gjonaj has proposed that will provide an “opportunity to restore economic equality to our business owners,” and ultimately, to “re-establish NYC as the Gateway for the American Dream.”

Subsequently, Gjonaj introduced the Micro-Business Transparency Act, a bill that would set the guidelines for what a micro-business entails and ensure that micro-businesses across NYC are being fairly represented. In addition to this bill, councilmembers also suggested creating a commission for mom-and-pop shops to better and more frequently have their voices and concerns heard.

Ultimately, small business owners seek to build stronger relationships between local businesses and the government. As said by Gjonaj, “Fighting for small businesses will save jobs and protect our local communities”.

Tip Credit Elimination

 

Eliminating the Tip Credit


Will Harm Small Business


In January of 2018, Governor Cuomo announced that a series of hearings would be held regarding the potential elimination of the Tip Credit in New York. After speaking with various restaurant owners and wait staff in the Greenwich Village/Chelsea area, the repercussions of eliminating the tip credit became clear. New York City is one of the most challenging environments in the country for restaurants due to high taxes,expensive rent across the city, an increasing minimum wage, and new competition around every corner. The elimination of the tip credit would force businesses to cut down wait staff, raise menu prices and could lead to their permanent closing. The tip credit provides businesses a much needed reprieve.  It allows restaurants to pay their tipped workers $8.65 hourly instead of the full $13.00 minimum wage. The $4.35 tip credit allows restaurants to staff more workers and provide them with more hours due to decreased labor costs.

Safe City Safe Streets

 

Communicating with Our Officers

 

Without a doubt, New York City police officers are an integral part of our everyday life: They commit their time, dedicate their lives, and do their best to assure the safety of our communities.

Safe City Safe Streets (SCSS) is a program that the Chamber sponsors to give back to these heroes that do so much for us everyday. Every year the Chamber holds a luncheon to honor, recognize, and build positive relationships between local precincts and NYC police officers. We are able to accomplish our goal of creating connections and fostering relationships by providing business owners and the community the opportunity to gain inside perspectives, look at programs and strategies these officers are employing, and by facilitating dialogue and discussions. Each month we will host a tour in the 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th, and 13th precincts, which will include meeting commanding officers and engaging in discussions. At this annual award luncheon, we will be honoring police officers from the precincts listed above.
 

The first tour of 2018 will be on June 27th, 5:30 - 7:00 pm at 19 Elizabeth St.

RSVP at Maria@VillageChelsea.com

A State of the Village



Addressing the Issues

Facing our Neighborhood


In New York City, something is constantly happening. This dynamism and intensity can be both harrowing and exciting at the same time. Sometimes, it can be good stop and reflect on some of the issues that may have fallen between the cracks. The Villager reached out to us to see if we would participate in a spring progress report, along with other organizations and politicians, that would help give an overall insight to how the village is doing. We gladly accepted, recognizing this as an opportunity to speak out on some key issues that we felt should be heard.
 

You can all of the articles in the villager's progress report written here.

​Our article in the villager can be found here.

Why Small Businesses are Important

 

Small Business, Big Impact

 

"The Manhattan Borough President’s Office (MBPO) produced this report to help more small businesses thrive and grow, because small businesses have historically provided the majority of jobs for New Yorkers and a gateway to the middle class, especially for immigrants and ethnic communities." - Gale A. Brewer

Our mission at the Chamber is to enhance the business vibrancy of our catchment area by encouraging the opening new small businesses, while supporting the ongoing success of those established. This report thoroughly reviews how different agencies can become more efficient, how the city can become more efficient, and how small business are the fundamental backbone to Manhattans local economy. 
 

You can find the entire study here.

​You can find all of the MBPO studies here.

We have also written a summary of the study.

We Want Change

 

Commercial Rent Tax

 

GVCCC is a signatory to a citywide initiative that aims to provide small businesses targeted relief from the Commercial Rent Tax (CRT). We wanted to be part of a voice directed at Mayor de Blasio and Speak Mark-Viverito to highlight the negative impact this outdated tax has upon small businesses, often threatening their survival. Action needs to be taken before more small businesses go under due to the excess burden of the CRT.

The GVCCC is part of a coalition of nonprofits attempting to raise the exemption of the CRT from 250,000 to 500,000 a year. This tax punishes successful business owners for growing and investing and thus helping to improve their neighborhoods.
 

You can find information on the CRT here.

You can read the letter sent to the Mayor and City Hall here. 

Importance of Helping Small Businesses



Better Assisting our Small Businesses


"Survey finds 30% of small businesses forced to wait six months or more to get necessary approvals from City. 58% say agencies fail to communicate expectations adequately. 60 recommendations include replacing private expediters with professional staffers, establishing clear timelines for permit approvals." - Comptroller Stringer

Helping our small businesses is essential to creating the type of vibrancy that Manhattan is famous for. Businesses with less than 20 employees account for over 90% of employment opportunities in the city. This makes them an invaluable asset in neighborhoods experiencing high population growth rates.

Throughout all neighborhoods in Manhattan there has been a population influx. As populations rise, so does rent, and with the increase in rent, more and more small businesses are being pressed out of our communities. This is not helped by the the meticulous amount of inspections and harsh fines that are associated with the failure to comply with a myriad of agencies and inspections.  Comptroller Scott Stringer has published a report that shows how the city could become more lenient and efficient in dealing with its small business community.

 

You can find the full study here.

CitiBike

 

The Effects of CitiBike
 


Distinctively blue and branded, Citi Bikes have quickly become part of Manhattan’s built-environment. The Bike Share program first rolled out 6,000 bicycles and 330 docking stations last May*. As of today, there are about 37,250 rides made each day and the numbers are growing*. As biking gains popularity and support from the city, much data has been collected and continues to be collected to ascertain the current reach and future potential for biking in NYC. However, little has been done to asses Citi Bikes’ impact on the very foundation of biking culture - the local bike shops. To fill this gap, the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce (GVCCC) has conducted a survey to find out how sales have changed since the bike-share program. 
 

Download the full article here >>

Map of the Village

 

NYU in NYC


Exploring the views of small business owners in the Village.

Paid Sick Leave

 

GVCCC on Paid Sick Leave


"If the [Paid Sick Leave] bill becomes law, we would have to find ways to offset the significant cost of the mandate. We would likely pass the cost on to our customers, cut staff — or eliminate the health insurance benefit. The paid sick leave bill means well, but it is ill-advised. It will harm my small business — and many like it around New York."

- Tony Juliano, GVCCC President
 

Read full article here.

Rezoning Plan

 

Hudson Square Rezoning

 

Manhattan's Hudson Square moved closer to getting a glossy makeover Wednesday with approval of a rezoning plan that would allow 30-story buildings and more residential property.

The rezoning, passed by the City Planning Commission, was initiated by Trinity Real Estate, the property arm of Trinity Church. It owns 40% of the area between Canal and Houston Sts. and from Sixth Ave. to Washington St.