NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In his recent State of the City address, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to do more to help small business owners thrive, but some say the cost of doing business in the city is unbearable.
Now, she owns and runs the place, but she says surviving isn’t easy.
“If he didn’t buy the building in 1926, I wouldn’t be here. The rents are exorbitant,” Schmidt told CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez.
“We have to save ourselves from the forces of greed,” he said.
The blueprint includes plans to provide resources to help small business owners stay in their shops.
“We’re reducing fines further. We’ve done it before. We’re gonna do that more,” de Blasio said.
Not everyone believes him, however.
Jack Moy has owned his hardware store on Jamaica Avenue for 40 years.
“Oh my god, that was so phony,” he said. “It’s not going to save us.”
He runs the place alone because he can’t afford help. He took down his store sign and replaced it with a makeshift one, fearing fines from an archaic 50-year-old law.
“Everything’s pick on the small business now,” Moy said.
CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez asked Schmidt if she felt like the city was on her side and the side of small businesses.
“No no no,” said. “Because there’s so many layers of nonsense and rules.”
Schmidt says the city almost fined her for showcasing her grandfather’s scale.
“They don’t like the scale. I said, well, I don’t use it. He goes, well, can’t you put it in the back? I said, no because it’s history, people like to see it. So I avoided a $300 fine by adding this sign, ‘for display only,'” she said. “I kid you not.”
While staying afloat is tough for Schmidt and Moy, it’s even harder for new businesses trying to get off the ground. Businesses are failing one after another.
Can small businesses survive?
“No, it is impossible. It is impossible. All the nonsense. All the rules and regulations that the city of New York is implementing,” one man said.
Some business owners say they feel abandoned by the city and they worry if nothing changes, many businesses will have to abandon their neighborhood.
Also in the State of the City address, the mayor promised he would provide free lawyers and fair loans from trustworthy lenders for low-income businesses.