You are reading

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.

email the author: [email protected]

2 Comments

Click for Comments 
Oscar

So what part of this bill exactly is aid to small businesses? Delivery apps are the customers’ choices, they pay the fee willingly, if ill-advised. Sidewalk cafe fee suspension? Gee, thanks for giving back what is ours anyway. Landlords are business people, too. Overriding leases and contracts is a form of price control and city takeover.

HEY MAYOR – IF YOU WANT TO HELP BUSINESSES, LET THEM OPEN.

Reply
Cg

What are we renters supposed to do… government hasn’t sent one dime of promised unemployment monies and we have children at home who need food !!!

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Queens Public Library celebrates Black History Month with nearly 150 programs highlighting Black resistance, culture

Feb. 2, 2023 By Carlotta Mohamed

Throughout February, Queens Public Library will celebrate “Black Resistance” — the theme of its 2023 Black History Month observance — with nearly 150 comprehensive programs and initiatives, including theater performances, author talks and art workshops for all ages, spotlighting various aspects of Black heritage, culture and resilience. 

Popular places where you can watch the big game in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘Limitless possibility’: BP Richards announces community visioning workshops on redevelopment of Creedmoor Psychiatric Center campus in Queens Village

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. and Empire State Development on Tuesday, Jan. 31, announced the launch of a series of community visioning workshops that will be held to hear input from eastern Queens residents about the redevelopment of the 50-acre Creedmoor Psychiatric Center campus in Queens Village. 

The first community visioning workshop will be held on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. at P.S./I.S. 208 located at 74-30 Commonwealth Blvd. in Glen Oaks.

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.