Today’s Gotham Gazette explores the plight of small businesses in NYC.  As many studies, as well as the ever-increasing amount of vacant storefronts in all five boroughs have shown, times are tough for mom ‘n pops in the city.  Now, the City Council may step in.  According to the article, “To stem the tide of closings, City Councilmember Robert Jackson has proposed the Small Business Survival Act. With 18 sponsors, Intro. 847 would give commercial tenants rights they do not currently possess when renewing a lease.”

It goes on to explain that in a study of Latino business owners, More than 90 percent said they had had a “negative experience” while attempting to renew a lease because owners abused their power.  Intro 847 would address this by regulating that: “if an owner and tenant cannot successfully negotiate renewal terms within 90 days, a mediator would intervene. Then if that fails, an arbitrator could be brought in to establish the new rent, based on various criteria such as the market value, longevity and location of the business, and the cost of maintaining and operating the property.”

The bill is co-sposored by 18 councilmembers, and Jackson tells the Gotham Gazette that he expects movement on it by September.