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Mayor’s Community Affairs: COVID Relief Package for Small Businesses

MAYOR DE BLASIO SIGNS COVID-19 RELIEF PACKAGE INTO LAWNEW YORK— Mayor Bill de Blasio today signed seven pieces of legislation providing relief for tenants, commercial establishments, and restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new laws support struggling small businesses by imposing limits on third-party food delivery services, extending the suspension of sidewalk cafe fee collection, and protecting commercial tenants from harassment and personal liability. Together, the bills offer sweeping protections for New Yorkers in a time of unprecedented financial insecurity. 

“New Yorkers have been fighting every day to flatten the curve and get through this pandemic together. Now, it’s time for us to give back to them,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I’m proud to sign this package of bills into law to offer protections for our small businesses, restaurants, and tenants to ensure that our City can come back stronger.” This package includes:

Intro. 1898-A  prohibits third-party food delivery services from charging restaurants a fee for telephone orders that do not result in an actual sale. The bill imposes penalties of up to $500 per violation, and the City can bring litigation seeking these penalties as well as restitution of illegally charged fees. The bill will take effect June 2, 2020, lasting until 90 days after the end of a declared emergency.  

Intro. 1908-B  caps the fees that third-party food delivery services can charge restaurants for the duration of a declared emergency and for 90 days thereafter. Third-party food delivery services will be prohibited from charging restaurants a fee greater than 15% per order for delivery and 5% per order for any other charge. Currently, third-party food delivery services sometimes charge up to 30% of the total order. Violators are subject to civil penalties of up to $1,000 per restaurant per day. The bill will take effect on June 2, 2020.  

Intro. 1916-A  suspends collection of indoor sidewalk cafe fees from restaurants from March 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021, and for outdoor sidewalk cafes through the duration of the emergency. Through Executive Order, the City already stopped collecting these fees for the duration of the emergency; this bill extends the suspension for indoor cafes until the end of February 2021.  

Intro. 1914-A  designates threatening a commercial tenant based on its status as a COVID-19 impacted business a form of harassment, effective immediately. This includes businesses that were subject to capacity restrictions, were forced to close, or business owners who contracted the virus. 

Intro. 1932-A  protects commercial tenants’ personal assets by temporarily prohibiting the enforcement of personal liability provisions in commercial leases or rental agreements involving COVID-19 impacted tenants. Threatening to or attempting to enforce such a provision will be considered a form of harassment, effective immediately. 

Intro. 1936-A  expands the definition of tenant harassment to protect tenants from threats based on status as an essential employee or being impacted by COVID-19.  

Intro. 1940-A  codifies the Mayor’s EO 107, which suspends renewal requirements for licenses and permits from City agencies during the duration of the emergency and extends such suspension for an extra 45 days. This will provide both City agencies and applicants enough time to complete and process renewals after the end of the emergency and when businesses come back online again. This bill takes effect immediately and will require the City to post a list of licenses not covered under the EO. 

“New York’s small businesses have been devastated by this pandemic. On top of closed businesses, they faced high fees, harassment from landlords and even the possibility of losing their homes. I’m proud of our Council for taking action quickly to protect them and thank the mayor for signing these bills that will allow our small business community to breathe a little easier. We will keep working to help our small businesses, which are the lifeblood of our neighborhoods,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.  

“Small businesses in communities of color have disproportionately been impacted by COVID-19 and are among those struggling the most to survive,” said J. Phillip Thompson, Deputy Mayor of Strategic Policies Initiatives and Co-Chair of the Racial Inclusion and Equity Task Force. “The bills signed today will give small business owners in our hardest-hit communities the support they need to get through this pandemic, and help ensure a fair and equitable recovery in New York City.” “Small businesses are the backbone of New York City’s economy and our communities,” said  Gregg Bishop, Senior Advisor for Small Business COVID-19 Recovery . “This package of bills will ensure that small businesses in all five boroughs are central to our recovery. We will continue to hear the concerns of our small business community, and do everything possible to ensure they come back even stronger.” 

“In fighting this pandemic, the City must continue to offer solutions for communities against the growing set of new challenges brought by the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Louise CarrollCommissioner of the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development. “The health, safety and security of residents are indispensable priorities and we must do all we can to protect tenants from harassment. I applaud the Mayor and our partners in the City Council for providing the leadership we need during this challenging time.” 

“Now is the time to support our small businesses by providing much needed relief, removing burdensome fees and protecting business owners from harassment,” said Jonnel Doris, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “We will continue to provide our small businesses with necessary support as we chart our path toward recovery and growth.” 

“Our city’s restaurants are struggling during these challenging times,” said  Lorelei Salas, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection . “We are proud to provide some relief so they can operate their open-air cafes without the usual fees and to protect them from high fees as they continue to deliver food to us.” 

“Today, New York City takes a monumental step towards protecting small businesses struggling to survive in a global crisis. This package of third-party food delivery reforms will give locally-owned restaurants a fighting chance to stay open and pay their employees.” said Council Member Mark Gjonaj, Chair of NYC Council Small Business Committee. 

“Billion-dollar tech companies are bleeding New York City’s mom and pop restaurants dry. With New Yorkers stuck in lockdown, neighborhood restaurants simply can’t contend with both a relentless pandemic stifling business and exorbitant fees slurping up what few sales are coming in. Covid-19 didn’t create this problem but like so many other longstanding issues, this crisis has deepened the inequity. Every day we hear of new restaurants who, facing little businesses and merciless fees from third-party food delivery apps, are left with no other option but to shut their doors permanently. This is a particular tragedy in immigrant communities like mine where restaurants are integral to our neighborhood’s character and a tether to our culture. By capping the fees third-party food apps can charge restaurants during declared states of emergency, we’re leveling the playing for mom and pop restaurants and billion-dollar tech companies that live off them. I thank Mayor de Blasio for supporting this legislation and for taking this step to help our locally-owned restaurants survive this pandemic,” said Council Member Francisco P. Moya

“This legislation represents the City’s dedication to the many small businesses, impacted by COVID-19, that are the backbone of New York City’s economy,” said Council Member Adrienne Adams. “Intro. 1914 will strengthen protections against commercial tenant harassment so that these businesses will have the opportunity to thrive in the future. I thank Speaker Johnson and my colleagues in the City Council for taking immediate steps and Mayor de Blasio for signing my bill into law today.” 

“Thank you Mayor de Blasio for signing my bill and the other pieces of legislation today that will help countless small businesses and tenants as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the signing of my bill, any small business owner with a personal liability clause in their lease will see that provision temporarily suspended, and they will no longer have to fear their landlord going after their personal life savings and assets because of a disaster no one saw coming,” said Councilwoman Carlina Rivera

“Our city’s businesses are facing an unprecedented economic crisis. The last thing they need to worry about as they try to reopen is getting fined for not renewing a permit. The Mayor did the right thing when he suspended permit renewals in his emergency order, and my legislation will give them some more breathing room when the order expires as well as clear guidance on what to do when they need to reapply, so they can focus on getting back on their feet.

I thank the Speaker, my colleagues for their support on this legislation and the administration for working with me to get this done quickly,” said Council Member Steven Matteo. “I thank Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson and my colleagues in City Council for taking swift action on this legislation and their commitment to supporting our businesses through this crisis and beyond. New York’s small businesses are in urgent need of the City’s help. These businesses have always been the lifeblood of our City and they will play a central role in the City’s recovery. This legislation is an important first step in planning for a safe reopening of NYC’s restaurants with sidewalk cafes figuring into a recovery strategy to support socially distanced dining and expanded seating capacity. Eliminating burdensome sidewalk cafe fees will provide emergency relief to restaurants confronting huge revenue losses and unprecedented financial challenges so that they will have the opportunity to reopen and thrive in the future,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen. ###  

 MAYOR DE BLASIO APPOINTS ANNABEL PALMA AS TEST & TRACE CORPS’ LEAD EQUITY OFFICER 

NEW YORK —Mayor de Blasio announced today that Annabel Palma will serve as the Chief Equity Officer of the City’s COVID-19 Test & Trace Corps. In her new role, Annabel will fight the disparities laid bare by the COVID-19 crisis and lead engagement with communities disproportionately affected by the virus.  

“As we build a massive apparatus to test and trace every case of COVID-19, we are redoubling our efforts to help communities that have been hardest hit by the virus, ” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Throughout her time as a Council Member and Deputy Commissioner, Annabel Palma has spent a career fighting for and representing our most vulnerable communities. In her role as Chief Equity Officer, I am confident that same drive and commitment will shine through, building on our commitment to address the fatal consequences of racial disparities across our city.” 

 The Test & Trace Corps is the City’s new apparatus to test and trace every case of COVID-19. In her role as Chief Equity Officer, Annabel will ensure equity is at the forefront of Corps’ core operation, building on the City’s commitment to fighting the disparities laid bare by COVID-19.  Annabel will also work with the Racial Inclusion and Equity Taskforce, co-chaired by First Lady Chirlane McCray, Deputy Mayor J. Phillip Thompson, and Deputy Mayor Dr. Raul Perea-Henze, to monitor response and recovery efforts in these communities.  

About Annabel Palma
Annabel Palma has worked tirelessly to improve the district in which she has lived all her life, drawing on her definitive struggles with poverty she has dedicated her life to fight for workers’ rights and fairer, more responsive representation for her community. She has been a charismatic and relatable leader who understood the everyday issues that impact not only Bronx residents but all New Yorkers.

Annabel’s experiences as a young, single mother, struggling to build a better life for her family helped define her approach to the New York City Council and make government more responsive to the needs of the community.

In 1991, Annabel received her Certified Nursing Assistant certification from Bronx Community College. At St. Vincent De Paul Senior Residence, she became a practicing nursing assistant, and was elected as a union representative in 1994.

In 1998, Annabel enrolled as a full time student in Monroe College and earned her Associates Degree in Business Administration, while she worked a full-time job and raised her son. She graduated Summa Cum Laude, and in 1999, was asked to join the staff at 199SEIU NY as a full-time organizer. This is where she would develop her passion for public service by organizing and educating workers on the issues of unfair working conditions and leading health and safety trainings.

In 2003, Annabel was elected to the New York City Council and dedicated her career to providing her community the voice they needed to fight for quality education, safer schools, good paying jobs, affordable housing, a cleaner environment and greater access to health care. She proudly served District 18th as a New York City Council Member for 14 years. During her tenure in the New York City Council, Annabel was instrumental in delivering tens of millions of dollars for projects in district 18th, to renovate senior centers, public schools, youth centers and parks. Through her efforts and support four of the  districts’ public libraries, received funds that allowed them to open and operate a six day week program. Her advocacy also allowed her to champion funds to expand and modernize the Bronx institutions of higher education as well as the Cultural Institutions.

In 2018, Annabel was appointed by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to serve as Deputy Commissioner of Strategic Initiatives in the Department of Social Services-HRA/DHS. She continues her advocacy and commitment to fight for the people of the Bronx and all of New York. ###  

MAYOR DE BLASIO, FIRST LADY MCCRAY JOIN WITH DJ DAVID GUETTA TO SUPPORT COVID-19 RELIEF WITH VIRTUAL CHARITY EVENT

NEW YORK —Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray will partner with DJ David Guetta  on Saturday, May 30 to raise money for the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund and other charities with an United At Home NYC live stream performance. 

“We are facing some of the most challenging times in our City’s history, but the support we have felt from across the world has helped us get through,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I am grateful to David Guetta for this collaboration and dedication to raising funds to keep New Yorkers healthy and safe. We may not be able to come together physically, but New York remains united through art and music.” 

“Our city’s healthcare workers are first responders in the fight against coronavirus. As New Yorkers have stepped back and stayed home, our doctors, nurses and hospital staff have stepped forward to work around the clock to save lives,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “I thank David Guetta for his partnership to help the city continue to raise funds for PPE and other critical supplies to protect our healthcare heroes during this public health crisis.” 

“I’m excited to announce I will host another live stream to raise money for charity and help battle the virus,”  said Grammy-Award Winning DJ and Producer David Guetta . “New York is one of my favorite cities and it’s an honor to be able to do something to help the city during this difficult time. We’re planning something special that can be enjoyed from homes around the world. As a DJ, the crowd is the most important part of any show and even though we can’t be together in a club or at a festival, we can use this time to come together in new ways and help those who need it most.” 

Building off of Guetta’s United At Home performance in Miami last month, which raised more than $750,000 for COVID-19 relief charities and drew more than 25 million viewers, Guetta will go live from New York City. Guetta’s performance will begin after the daily 7 PM clap for frontline and healthcare workers, and can be viewed live on social media through the DJ’s FacebookInstagramYouTubeTwitter, and Twitch channels. The stream will feature guest appearances from New York City first responders along with other special surprise guests. New Yorkers are encouraged watch this performance safely from home. 

“While at home, so many of us miss experiencing the pulse and vibrance of this great city. New York City’s culture and nightlife are a part of what make it such a unique place to live,” said Toya Williford, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “What better way to celebrate that legacy than with an exciting performance you can experience from the comfort of your home? We’re thrilled to partner with David Guetta to use this one-of-a-kind show to unite New Yorkers in support of our most vulnerable community members.” 

“We thank David Guetta for bringing his music, energy and creative genius to New York City,” said  Rob Speyer, Chairman of the Mayor’s Fund Advisory Board and President and Chief Executive Officer of Tishman Speyer. “This event will support the Mayor’s Fund work to create brighter futures for all New Yorkers, while once again demonstrating our City’s indomitable spirit to the world.” 

Viewers will have the opportunity to donate to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City during the performance to help support New Yorkers experiencing the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chaired by First Lady Chirlane McCray, the Mayor’s Fund is New York City’s official fundraising arm for COVID-19 relief and has raised nearly $40 million to assist vulnerable populations including frontline healthcare workers and essential staff, immigrant communities, and survivors of domestic and gender-based violence, among others. Guetta’s performance will also benefit other COVID-19 relief charities. For more information, please visit davidguetta.com. 

United At Home NYC was conceived and co-produced by the Charity Guys, and all production costs related to the performance will be generously funded by Major League Soccer, Heineken, and Guetta himself. The City plans to stage additional livestream performances in the future for New Yorkers to enjoy at home. 

About David GuettaDavid Guetta is a multiple-Grammy award winning DJ and producer. He has sold more than 50 million records and amassed more than 10 billion streams. He has received numerous Platinum and Gold certifications and been nominated for six Grammy Awards, winning two. He has worked with artists, including Madonna, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Snoop Dogg, Martin Garrix, Usher, John Legend, Nicki Minaj, Sean Paul, Kelly Rowland, Showtek, Avicii, Ne-Yo, and Akon, for starters. His most recent studio album ‘7’, included tracks like 2U with Justin Bieber, Flames with Sia, Don’t Leave Me Alone with Anne-Marie, Goodbye with Jason Derulo, Nicki Minaj and Willy William. 

About the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City  works in partnership with the business and philanthropic communities to advance initiatives that improve the lives of residents in all five boroughs. It seeks to seed promising, evidence-based models; evaluate the efficacy of new public programs and policies; bring innovative solutions to scale; and respond to the emerging needs of the city by building public-private partnerships. First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray is chair of the Mayor’s Fund Board of Directors. In addition, the Mayor’s Fund has an Advisory Board of prominent civic and business leaders to advise and assist the Board of Directors.