By Ali Bauman

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Mayor Eric Adams has signed a new executive order to help small businesses in the city save money by slashing through red tape.

Adams said Tuesday the order will help the establishments get back on their feet after the pandemic, by getting rid of unnecessary violations and reducing penalties for first-time offenders, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported.

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He embarked on what he called a new chapter for small businesses, with a new jacket from Pearl River Mart in SoHo, where he signed the order to reform existing business regulations so that city agencies issue fewer fines and penalties to small business owners.

“We have used our agencies to turn the American dream into a nightmare,” Adams said.

Watch: Mayor Eric Adams’ Tuesday Press Conference

The order requires agencies including the departments of Buildings, Environmental Protection, Sanitation, Health & Mental Hygiene, Consumer and Worker Protection, and FDNY to each review its business regulations with the goal of compliance over issuing fines.

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“Within three months, each of these agencies will need to identify the 25 violations that result in the greatest number of summonses and fines issued to businesses, then submit recommendations for which violations should be reformed through elimination, fine amendments, allowance of a warning or allowance of a cure period for first-time violations,” Adams said.

The Mayor’s Office said more than 3,000 small businesses closed in New York City during the height of the pandemic.

“We’ve made it through the worst part, but we really do need help to get through to a full recovery,” Pearl River Mart owner Joanne Kwong said.

Some violations that City Hall believes can be reformed include:

  • Failure to clean 18 inches from a curb into street, which carries a $50 fine.
  • Failure to post a clear price list at a laundromat has a $400 fine.
  • Excessive noise created by an air compressor, a $560 fine.

“They have the hustle, we’re going to give them the flow, and allow them to continue to bring commerce to our city,” Adams said.

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Adams said his goal is to implement the recommendations from city agencies as early as June. He also plans to sit down with the heads of National Grid and Con Edison to discuss inspection protocols and response times.

Ali Bauman