Small businesses are essential for the economy of New York City, providing jobs, strengthening communities, and contributing to the vibrancy of its neighborhoods. To ensure that workers' rights are safeguarded, local governments should create a dedicated unit that focuses on this issue. This unit would be staffed with specialized personnel who have an in-depth knowledge of relevant municipal laws and policies, as well as an understanding of the challenges facing local workers. Having a dedicated office would enable staff to build relationships with key stakeholders, such as worker advocacy groups, unions, immigrant rights advocates, service providers, labor attorneys, employers' associations, and other government agencies.
This office could also be mobilized to address emerging needs, such as those that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic. Establishing a dedicated office would institutionalize and integrate work into local government, ensuring that the focus on workers and their challenges continues beyond a particular administration. Before the pandemic hit, the Bronx was experiencing steady growth in population, employment, and new businesses. However, it still faced issues such as low household incomes, high poverty rates, and high unemployment rates. Environmental policy is an important tool for conserving natural resources while balancing environmental protection with economic growth, property rights, public health, and energy production.
Federal, state, and local governments all develop and implement environmental policies through laws and regulations. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that most small businesses in New York will need to adopt technological tools and digital platforms to remain competitive in the future. To help business owners make this transition, incorporate counselors into neighborhoods so they can build relationships and trust with them. The Technical Assistance Corps should be assigned to a particular neighborhood for the long term so they can develop trust with business owners and understand their individual needs as well as the broader context of the neighborhood. This plan outlines ten viable policies that the city and state of New York can implement in the coming year. These include expanding business itinerary programs to help more public housing residents engage in entrepreneurship and self-employment; exempting fines and fees from city-run non-life-threatening small businesses for a full year; using Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) for major projects; introducing business owners to digital tools; eliminating or modifying rules that prevent Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) from using more than 30 percent of their Council discretionary funds on subcontractors; and providing sustained funding for Technical Assistance Corps members to incorporate business advisors into local community organizations and city branch libraries. The reopening of New York City's economy has given small businesses in all five boroughs hope for a sustainable recovery.
However, many organizations lack the resources and capacity to provide door-to-door services to every business in need. To help these businesses succeed in small and medium-sized business districts across the city, local governments should provide more resources. In the Bronx specifically, 13,000 additional jobs were created in three main sectors: wholesale trade, business services, and healthcare. To ensure that these businesses continue to thrive in the future, local governments should provide resources such as digital tools training sessions taught by the New York City Department of Small Business Services; door-to-door services; and sustained funding for Technical Assistance Corps members. Local governments have an important role to play in helping small businesses in New York City succeed. By creating a dedicated unit focused on workers' rights; providing resources such as digital tools training sessions; exempting fines and fees from city-run non-life-threatening small businesses; using Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) for major projects; introducing business owners to digital tools; eliminating or modifying rules that prevent Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) from using more than 30 percent of their Council discretionary funds on subcontractors; and providing sustained funding for Technical Assistance Corps members to incorporate business advisors into local community organizations and city branch libraries - local governments can ensure that small businesses in all five boroughs have access to the resources they need to thrive.