On Monday, November 2, elected officials representing Boro Park, Midwood and Gravesend, Senator Simcha Felder, Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein and Councilman Kalman Yeger stood with small business owners to announce the Save Our Stores Act. Proposed in the State Legislature and City Council amid ongoing lockdowns and excessive fines in red zones, the legislation would waive payment of fines and penalties incurred during the Covid-19 state of emergency.
“We will not be complicit in the pillaging of New York’s hardworking small business owners. Months of lock down brought our small businesses to the brink of extinction. These exorbitant fines will be the last nail in the coffin. They don’t deserve this punishment. Their only sin is a desire to work when government policy is determined to bankrupt them. Red-zone businesses cannot become collateral damage in our fight against Covid. We have a responsibility to do everything in our power to save New York’s small business owners from any additional burdens during these exceptional times, and forgive these senseless Covid-related fines immediately. The legislation my colleagues and I are proposing is an SOS to save our stores,” said Senator Felder.
“As small businesses were on the verge of bankruptcy, New York City decided to harass and unjustly issue summonses and fines while big box chain stores were allowed to thrive,” said Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein. “It’s a sad day when our own government delivers a fatal blow to business owners who are about to lose it all. This legislation is a step forward in doing right by our small business owners and perhaps can help them get back on their feet and focus on reopening their businesses as they just try to make an honest living.”
“Senator Felder’s legislation is exactly the right step towards achieving justice for our overburdened community businesses,” said Councilman Kalman Yeger. “Over the last few weeks, it has become so obvious that our community is being targeted with enforcement unseen anywhere else in New York. Dozens of Quota Agents from the alphabet-soup of agencies have descended on our neighborhood, not to educate businesses how to better comply with ever-changing rules, but rather to issue onerous – and many times, false – violations. The only way to address these summonses is through legislation that will zero out the penalties.”