Dept of Consumer Affairs Overhauls Small Business Regulation, Ramps up Business Outreach

Jeremy Pasker | 7/9/2014, 3:48 p.m.

There has been a wide range of reforms set up to alleviate the burdens of NYC's small business owners. According to the Department of Consumer affairs commissioner, business relief package will reduce the number and cost of fines, increase transparency and fairness, and greatly expand the education of and outreach to businesses.

Both the number of violations given and the costs for those violations will be reduced. The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and its Commissioner, Julie Menin, will ensure the oversight process and fine businesses that raise health concerns, flout rules, engage in predatory behavior, or negatively affect the public's well-being.

These reforms come after Mayor deb Basio promised to reduce the city's treatment of law abiding small business owners.

“Small businesses are the heart and the economic engine to this City, and following the Mayor’s lead, DCA is committed to making our operations fairer, simpler and less onerous on law-abiding businesses,” said DCA Commissioner Menin. “The reforms will create an easier environment for businesses to operate in our City while at the same time ensuring that we remain vigilant in our work protecting consumers and keeping the marketplace fair.”

These reforms from Mayor de Blasio office have garnered support from several institutions and businesses in the city. Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Carlo A. Scissura, Fernando Mateo, President of Hispanics Across America, and Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance have all praised the plan.

Besides the number and amount of fines, other provisions include Reduced Settlement Amounts, allowing businesses to correct first-time violations, an inspection checklist for business owners of what the DCA is looking for, inspections done in the preferred language of the owner, alerts to owner about new rules, Legal Ombudsman, Financial Counseling, Firmer Consumer Protection

For more information, call 311 or visit DCA online at nyc.gov/consumers.