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De Blasio Signs Relief Bills Into Law, Aims to Help Small Businesses

Mayor Bill de Blasio signs seven pieces of legislation providing relief for tenants, commercial establishments, and restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic. City Hall. Tuesday, May 26, 2020. (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

May 27, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

The mayor has signed several new bills into law to support small businesses during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the legislation Tuesday after the City Council passed the relief measures earlier this month.

The legislation slaps price caps on third-party food delivery services and extends the suspension of sidewalk cafe fees to help struggling small businesses, the mayor said at a press briefing.

The new laws also protect commercial tenants from landlord harassment and personal liability, he said.

De Blasio said the new laws offer sweeping protections for small business owners at a time of economic crisis.

“New Yorkers have been fighting every day to flatten the curve and get through this pandemic together,” the mayor said. “Now, it’s time for us to give back to them,” he said.

Two new laws aim to clamp down on what delivery app companies can charge restaurants. One law prohibits app companies from charging restaurants for telephone orders that do not result in an actual sale.

Ordering app companies will also not be able to charge more than 15 percent commission on deliveries and more than 5 percent for all other charges, including credit card processing.

These caps will only apply whenever there is a state of emergency such as COVID-19. Both bills will take effect June 2 and will last for 90 days after the end of a declared emergency.

Indoor sidewalk cafe fees for restaurants will be suspended until Feb. 28, 2021, and outdoor sidewalk cafes fees will be on hold for the duration of the pandemic.

The legislation also takes aim at commercial landlords who threaten to evict struggling tenants–specifically those who have lost business due to COVID-19. Furthermore, landlords are temporarily barred from going after the personal assets of these tenants if they cannot meet their lease obligations.

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Paul Kersey

What about the 9 billion dollar deficit the city is facing? Albany is not going to approve a loan for the city so how can he keep spending recklessly? The curve is flat and there isn’t a plan to reopen the city. Vague references to June are not cutting it. Another month without paychecks, rent is due in a few days and he is capping commissions on food delivery? Can anyone afford to be eating take out at this rate? You want to give back? Let the city reopen and allow people to earn again. We have been trained like circus monkeys to wear masks and socially distance. Enough already.

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anon

Ok he’s protecting businesses from the big bad landlords…but he fails to say ANYTHING about property taxes….If a “resturant” is a small business isn’t the Landlord a small business too? You know since they make their livelihood on the rent that these business have the “assets” to pay, ie they can afford to but don’t have to cause Mayor Dumb Dumb 9 million in the hole said they don’t have too. If the big bad Landlords don’t pay property taxes then banks or NYC can seize said property and auction it off…New owners might not want a resturant but….DRUM ROLL please….A BRAND NEW HIGH RISE CONDO!!! (like we DON’T have “enough” of those)!!!!
YEAH tell us how we’re getting out of dept??? You have the funds to protect everyone but the ones you actually bill. If it doesn’t affect his paycheck (ie. extortion money…) Then everythings hunky dorry….When this Mayor stops being mayor don’t forget to hire him as accountant He know how to “hide” a few billion…He’s got a wife for that! Yeah right about those TAXES….

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