Photo Courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office
[W]ith more New Yorkers getting vaccinated, there is more that can be done to directly support small businesses, Mayor de Blasio said Thursday during the 2021 State of the City address.
By Michael V. Cusenza
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday announced an ambitious COVID recovery plan as part of his 2021 State of the City address, focusing especially on revitalizing small businesses across the five boroughs.
While Wall Street made record profits this year, countless small businesses had to close their doors or downsize—or are hanging on for dear life. The City has made the Open Restaurants program permanent and opened up outdoor opportunity to small retail businesses with the Open Storefronts program. And with more New Yorkers getting vaccinated, there is more that can be done to directly support small businesses, de Blasio said.
NYC Small Business
Recovery Tax Credit
The City will provide direct support to small businesses to boost the recovery and put New Yorkers back to work, the mayor pledged. The NYC Small Business Recovery Tax Credit will be a $50 million rental assistance program for up to 17,000 small businesses in the arts, entertainment, recreation, food services, and accommodation sectors that have experienced hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Businesses in these sectors with gross revenue below $1 million will be eligible for a tax credit equal to 6 percent of their calendar year 2021 rent, up to maximum credit of $10,000. Businesses will need to retain their current workforce to be eligible, driving job retention in our neighborhoods.
The new tax credit program will require State legislation, and the City will expand it if Washington provides a robust stimulus with direct local aid for cities. The City would look to expand the program to additional small businesses and increase the value of the credit to incentivize hiring more New Yorkers, saving and creating over 10,000 jobs.
NYC Small Business
In addition to expanding the Recovery Tax Credit with stimulus funds, New York City will also establish the NYC Small Business Recovery Loan program to help shops keep their doors open and recover. New York City will provide low-interest loans of up to $100,000 to over 2,000 small businesses in the communities hit hardest by COVID-19 to drive the recovery.
Small businesses will be able to apply for loans from a $100 million fund built from City funds that leverage outside lenders. The loans will go to small businesses that have experienced hardship due to the pandemic and have submitted a recovery plan to rebuild their business and bring NYC back.
Cut Fines and Red Tape
to Boost New Small Businesses
The Open Restaurants program saved 100,000 jobs during the height of the pandemic by quickly cutting red tape and embracing entrepreneurial creativity, de Blasio boasted. Working with agencies across the government, the Department of Small Business Services will cut first time fines to small businesses, expand the number of self-certify permits and inspection applications, establish no-fine visits from regulators, and produce plain language compliance guides in multiple languages. Thousands of new jobs will be created by making it easier to do business in New York City, the mayor promised.