Retail Report

News From Senator Shirley L. Huntley

For Immediate Release: August 3, 2010

Contact: Kevin M. Webb (518) 455-3531 (Huntley)

Diem Tran (917) 439-2965 (Squadron)


Senators Huntley and Squadron Release Senate Committee on Cities Report

To Help Local Businesses and Revitalize Retail Diversity

Small Retailers Vital to New York’s Economy, Culture

Albany, New York – The State Senate Committee on Cities, as part of its effort to support small locally-owned businesses and promote retail diversity – released its “New York Retail: Serving the Public” report. Spearheaded by State Senator Daniel Squadron (D-New York), former Committee Chairman and State Senator Shirley L. Huntley (D-Jamaica), current Committee Chairwoman, the report seeks to help local retailers address challenges they face in running a small business in New York, such as competition from “big box” retailers and high commercial rent.

The Report is a result of the Committee’s public hearing last September on retail diversity and neighborhood health, where members of the community and state-wide officials testified about the challenges of supporting diverse retail. The hearing allowed the Committee to gather input communities across the state.

The Report made the following recommendations, amongst others:

• Help small business owners learn about and take advantage of existing programs and resources that assist local retailers.

• Establish a relocation and assistance fund for small businesses that are displaced by large developments.

• Consider and adopt other cities’ successful economic policies.

• Include small local retailers in major development projects in Lower Manhattan.

• Review New York’s tax policy as it affects small businesses.

“Small business and especially local retail businesses create the majority of jobs in our state” said Senator Huntley. She emphasized that: ”They are an important part of the fabric of our economy and our local communities. Anything New York can do to help them prosper will be a boom to state economy and our citizens.”

Senator Squadron said, “Local retailers are the backbone of our city’s economy, they provide consumers with choice, create jobs and bring in important tax revenue. But even in the best of times, small business owners struggle with tax policies, high rent, and other challenges that put them at severe disadvantage. By helping small businesses during this recession and beyond, we can ensure that our communities do not lose retail diversity, an important economic and cultural element of New York.

Senator Bill Perkins (D-Harlem), a member of the Cities Committee stated: I applaud the efforts of Senators Huntley and Squadron on releasing this important report. Local retailers are the engine that fuels our economy. It is hoped the critical information provided will assist these businesses in overcoming the many obstacles they face such as having access to capital, job creation, growth, competition and simply staying alive.”

The state’s retail sector welcomed the reports publication noting: “Senator Huntley and Senator Squadron recognize that New York’s cities thrive when a sturdy and sustainable retail foundation exists,” said James R. Sherin, President and CEO, Retail Council of New York State. “Our member stores, from the independent merchant to the corporate chain, appreciate their focus and look forward to continuing the dialogue the Senators began at the Senate Committee on Cities public hearing last fall.”