Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Department of Small Business Services

Department of Small Business Services

  • de blasio small business

    Mayor visits business (photo: Ed Reed Mayor's Office)


    When the pandemic first spread through New York City in March 2020, Karen DiPeri stared at a list of events that her hospitality service company, HMG Plus, was scheduled to facilitate. HMG typically staffs corporate events — serving hor d’oeuvres, bartending, cleaning up afterwards — and as the city began to shut down, the company’s future grew uncertain. On HMG’s back-end software, active upcoming events show up in green. But as client after client canceled, DiPeri watched the orders turn into a stream of

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  • walsh a rubdj

    A busy Bronx street (photo: Ruben Diaz Jr/Flickr)


    A recent New York Times editorial entitled “Save New York’s Small Business” strongly encourages the city to become more small business-friendly and “go big.” I would suggest that when it comes to saving our small businesses and neighborhoods, often it is not the big that is needed – it is the go part. Getting stuff done in improving neighborhoods can be very challenging.

    From Flatbush Avenue to Fordham Road, Business Improvement Districts (BID) have become a very effective and powerful tool in engaging property owners and

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  • 1 city council examines admin efforts

    Council Member Paul Vallone (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The City Council’s committees on economic development and small business met last week for an oversight hearing to assess how the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), the city Department of Small Business Services (SBS), and the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development have adjusted their programming because of COVID-19 and discuss what they’re doing to promote equity across the five boroughs.

    According to the New York State

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  • 1 nycsbs

    SBS Commissioner Doris at a small business (photo: @NYC_SBS)


    Frustrated City Council members and hopeful––yet weary––small business advocates took to a hearing Tuesday to express their concerns about the Open Storefronts program launched recently by Mayor de Blasio after outcry from the business community, particularly smaller retailers. Small businesses, many of which are struggling to hold on if they haven’t already closed due to the pandemic and a lack of government help, can enroll in the program that, as of now, will give them through December 31 to sell their merchandise

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  • 2 tour smallbus

    Mayor de Blasio gets ice cream (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    An advisory council created by Mayor Bill de Blasio to speak on behalf of the city’s small businesses hasn’t convened in months and some of its members say their concerns aren’t being heard as the city charts a stunted recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

    In April, de Blasio announced the creation of several task forces to help lead the city’s recovery efforts, including advisory councils dedicated to specific sectors such as large and small businesses, health care, education,

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  • 3 restaurant melba

    Mayor de Blasio & Chirlane McCray dine at Melba's in Harlem (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Miriam Milord, the Black owner of BCakeNY in Brooklyn, had to completely reimagine her custom dessert business when the coronavirus pandemic hit New York. She usually served events of around 75 to 100 people, but, with social distancing guidelines, customers cancelled those gatherings. All of her orders disappeared.

    “So that stopped, you know, from one day to the next pretty much,” said Milord. “So not only were we not selling cakes, we also were

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  • mmv gb sbs

    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The holiday season is upon us and we all know the temptation of online shopping. The ease of getting the things we want at the click of a button might seem harmless, but it has major consequences for local small businesses.

    Shopping online takes away from the livelihood of local residents and strips the community of its extraordinary businesses. E-commerce also means you don’t have the ability to inspect your purchases before receipt, you have to go through the hassle of repackaging and returning items you don’t want to keep,

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  • bdb rec business

    Mayor de Blasio & Council Member Cornegy stop at a small business (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    New York City’s small businesses need more employees but struggle with hiring, and lack the time and resources they need to find and train talent. Their operational costs continue to be a challenge, including the cost of rent, insurance, and utilities. They need more financial support for growth and more assistance to comply with government rules and regulations.

    Those are just a few of the findings of a limited and first-of-its-kind survey conducted by

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  • bishop mmv nyccouncil

    SBS Commissioner Bishop, the author, right (photo: @NYCCouncil)


    Earlier this week, an op-ed appeared in Gotham Gazette entitled "How the City Hurts Small Businesses." This column reminded me of a great saying by New York’s late U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” The truth is that Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Department of Small Business Services are working every day

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  • bdb espinal town hall

    Mayor de Blasio & CM Espinal (photo: Jeffrey Reed for the City Council)


    After serving jail time in 2014, Anthony McGlashan, a resident of East New York, Brooklyn, struggled to find employment for three years. While he had a certification from the Anthem Institute in the field of Information Technology, he continued to be rejected by employers due to his lack of experience and his criminal background. McGlashan then turned to one of New York City’s Workforce1 Centers, a city initiative that provides free career services by pairing employers with workers, holding

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  • crowley johnson lean in

    Council Member Elizabeth Crowley and colleagues (photo: William Alatriste) 


    On Thursday, the City Council approved a bill requiring the Department of Small Business Services to survey and study the gender, ethnic, and racial makeup of executive-level staff and board members of companies that contract with the city. The bill, co-sponsored by Council Members Elizabeth

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  • levine small biz

    Council Member Levine & co outside an evicted business (photo: @MarkLevineNYC) 


    Mid-June, it was a block in Washington Heights that was poised to be the next to close up shop. The landlord, Coltown Properties, looked to evict the mostly Latino-owned stores on the street, which included a barbershop, restaurant, and income tax service. The store proprietors faced the same issue as many other small business owners in New York — there was nothing they could do.

    “Collectively, the businesses on

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    ALBANY, ALBANY: Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, and Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie agreed on a short, retroactive extension of rent regulations through Tuesday. As negotiations continue on the rent regulations and other top of the agenda priority issues like mayoral control of city schools, legislators are due back in Albany on Tuesday. By

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