In one of his first acts as Mayor of New York City, Eric Adams signed the Small Business Forward Executive Order to reform existing business regulations, ensuring local businesses face fewer needless fines and penalties. The Executive Order builds upon Local Law 80 and calls on the Department of Buildings, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Sanitation, Fire Department, Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to review business regulations with the goal of reducing fine schedules and allowing for cure periods or warnings for first-time violations.
The Executive Order will require:
- Within three months, each Agency will identify the 25 violations that are responsible for the greatest number of summonses and fines issued to small businesses and submit the following:
- Recommendations for which violations should be reformed via a) elimination, b) fine schedules scaled back, c) allowance of a First Time Warning, and/or d) allowance for a Cure Period for first-time violations.
- If no reform action is recommended for a violation, provide an explanation as to why the status quo should be maintained (e.g. serious health or safety risk)
- Identify the necessary actions for reform (e.g. rule-making, City legislation, State legislation, etc.)
- All enforcement agencies should immediately review and update their violation tracking systems, inspection procedures and trainings, and the language on their summons tickets to ensure that they are prepared to introduce cure periods and first-time warnings for violations in compliance with this EO.
- The establishment of an Inter-Agency Working Group – which includes each enforcement agency and to be chaired by a Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development and the SBS Commissioner – to review Agency submissions and oversee the ensuing business regulatory reform process.
“Our small businesses have been through so much during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Eric Adams. “The last thing they need to deal with are unnecessary fines. We’re cutting the red tape and bringing real relief to the entrepreneurs who have made their dreams a reality and keep our local economy strong.”
This is an outstanding first step by the new administration, but this must go further. Burdens on trucking are burdens on businesses both large and small. In fact, many small businesses operate commercial vehicles as part of their operations. A thorough look at the PVB, OATH, the burden of the MVY, and vehicle dimensions would go a long way to improving the burdens placed on business without impacting safety.