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Comptroller Scott Stringer and the Red Tape Commission

Comptroller Stringer’s Red Tape Commission is made up of small business leaders, regulatory experts and advocates from around the City who are dedicated to finding ways to help business owners cut through the red tape.

For too long, government has been an obstacle rather than a partner in the success of small businesses. A complex maze of regulations and red tape have stifled innovation, slowed business growth, and discouraged potential entrepreneurs from opening their doors in our city.

The duty of the Commission is simple: to listen to business owners and entrepreneurs directly, across all five boroughs, with the purpose of completing an independent, bottom-up review of regulations that affect business formation and growth across the five boroughs.

The Commission decided to hold five hearings – one in each borough – designed to give business owners an opportunity to tell their stories and connect with Commission members on particular issues of concern. And then it will issue specific policy recommendations for all city agencies.

ostrovsky_khutoretsky_300 alec_teytel_300
Leonid Ostrovsky from
Brooklyn Center for New Americans
and Dennis Khutoretsky,

Investors Bank,
Brighton Beach Branch Manager
Alec Teytel, President,
Bensonhurst Business Club

At first hearing in Brooklyn many small business owners shared their stories with Comptroller Stringer, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce (President – Carlo Scissura) and members of Red Tape Commission. Business owners, leaders of non-for-profits, business professionals and other speakers complained about ignorance by several city agencies, especially pointing at Department of Education, Department of Small Business Services, Department of Transportation and Department of Sanitation.

red_tape300_300
Cutting the Red Tape
for Small Businesses

Comptroller Stringer noted that popular “311” information line is not very useful today for small business owners. It does not use modern technological advances in communicating with businesses. Several restaurant owners cited incidents of harassment by a few people who anonymously complained about local business by repeatedly calling “311” and constantly making unsubstantiated allegations. Probably, there should be a system that will prevent same people from confidentially making baseless complaints about local businesses over and over again, even if followed inspections proved that allegations were false.

Others asked City Comptroller to look at the situations when visits by some inspectors are scaring customers away, especially when inspectors from Fire or Health Departments are demanding that business owners have to send all their customers away in the middle of the day in order to focus on inspector’s questions and requests.

It became obvious by the end of this Brooklyn hearing that City Hall did not make concerns and well being of small business community a priority. And this is sad reality, considering that small businesses are backbone of New York economy and major job creators in city neighborhoods.

See more at: http://comptroller.nyc.gov/redtape

Here are some typical Brooklyn stories showing the importance of the Red Tape Commission’s work:

http://kensingtonbk.com/business/khans-tutorial-importance-struggles-helping-students-need#.ViP8g36rS70

http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/2015/10/commission-aims-to-cut-through-the-red-tape-of-running-a-small-business-in-nyc/

http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/2015/10/eye-care-center-says-agency-turned-blind-eye-needs-patients/

http://fortgreenefocus.com/blog/2015/10/12/the-great-georgiana/

Ari Kagan



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