On March 5th there will be a small business forum co-sponsored by The Villager and VID, at Judson Memorial Church
On Thursday, March 5th at 7 pm neighbors, local business people, and a panel of experts will convene for a Small Business Forum to discuss means to save and protect small businesses at Judson Church, 55 Washington Square South. The forum has been organized by Sharon Woolums, long-time VID member.
Currently landlords determine the destiny of small business owners, their workers, and, ultimately, the character and culture of an entire community. But two pending legislations, looking at the issue from opposite directions claim to be the solution to save our small businesses.
- A new resolution introduced January 22 at City Hall calls upon Albany to pass legislation establishing a property tax credit for commercial landlords who ”voluntarily” limit rent increases upon renewal as incentives to not rent gouge.
- In City Council committee: the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, (S.B.J.S.A.) regulates lease renewal process giving rights to business owners to arbitrate fair lease terms and 10 year leases.
- OR…is there a better solution?
Sung Soo Kim – Called the “Godfather of Small Business” due to his founding the Korean American Small Business Service Center, the oldest small business service center in NYC; co-founding the New York City Small Business Congress and Coalition to Save New York City Small Businesses; creating the Small Business Bill of Rights given to elected officials since 1993; and chairmanship of the Mayor’s Small Business Advisory Board, appointed by Mayors Dinkins and Giuliani.
Alfred Placeres - Founder NYS Federation Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and former member of USA Hispanic Chamber of Commerce chair of eastern US district; member of both City and State advisory committees on small business over the past 25 years.
Jenny Dubnau – Spokesperson for The Artist Studio Affordability Project – coalition of arts groups fighting to preserve our city’s arts and cultural organizations.
Jack Segan – Spokesperson and community affairs for Jetro Foods: city’s largest wholesale supplier to restaurants and grocery stores, with warehouses in 4 boroughs. Mr. Segan has worked daily for 19 years in addressing the problems of the mostly immigrant owners. His 17,000 clients are all independently owned and represent approximately 10% of the city’s small businesses.
Mark Crispin Miller- NYU professor of Media, Culture, and Communication. Known for his writing and activism on behalf of democratic media reform; a strong voice and organizer for the Village community’s fight against the proposed NYU expansion; an outspoken critic of overdevelopment and the social consequences of rapid gentrification of a community which follows aggressive unchecked speculation.
Robert Perl – President of Tower Brokerage, and a real estate specialist in the East Village. Mr. Perl’s company has rented thousands of apartments and stores and have sold scores of buildings and development sites. He has been active in civic matter affecting the community and appeared on several panels dealing with neighborhood development and has given an accurate assessment of the role real estate plays in changes to a community.
If you haven’t read them already, here are links to previous Villager coverage on the issues