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”.