New Initiative Gives Small Business a Lift

By Penny Laughlin

Everyone thinks of New York City as an epicenter of global business. We should also think of it as a booming ecosystem of small business.

Small businesses face tremendous challenges in getting off the ground. Regulations, permits, compliance the risk of fines; all of these add up to what many entrepreneurs don’t have – extra time and capital.

Mayor De Blasio recently announced a new initiative – Small Business First – with the intention of helping remove the regulatory burden on the City’s small businesses. Under the initiative, small businesses can get support to manage and coordinate what is needed to gain approval from each City agency.

The initiative has two major goals — to reduce the time for a business to open or work with the City by 50%, and to ensure that 95% of business – related applications are available online.

There are a total of 30 initiatives ready to roll, and the City is putting some muscle behind the program — a budget of $27 million over the next four years.

There have been similar initiatives in the past. For example the in 2011 NBAT — new business acceleration team — was started.  This program assists new eating and drinking establishment streamline City approvals, such as DOB, FDNY and Health inspections.

For more details on the program, please click here.