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NEW YORK – As New York City and small businesses continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Eric Adams signed an executive order Tuesday to reform existing business regulations. 

Under the “Small Business Forward” executive order, local businesses will face fewer “needless” fines and penalties, calling on different city enforcement agencies to review business regulations with the goal of reducing fine schedules and allowing for warnings for first-time violations.

“Our small businesses have been through so much during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Adams. “The last thing they need to deal with are unnecessary fines. We’re cutting the red tape and bringing real relief to the entrepreneurs who have made their dreams a reality and keep our local economy strong.”

Within three months, each agency will identify the 25 violations responsible for the greatest number of summonses and fines issued to small businesses and submit: 

  • Recommendations for which violations should be eliminated, fine schedules scaled back, allowance of first time warning
  • If no reform action is recommended, provide explanation as to why it should be remained.
  • Identify necessary actions for reform.
  • All enforcement agencies should review and update violation tracking systems, inspection procedures and training and language on summons tickets
  • Establish an Inter-agency Working group, including each enforcement agency to review agency submissions and oversee the ensuing business regulatory reform process.

When asked if there should be rent stabilization for businesses, Adams said he will look into detail and find a balance, but also make sure that businesses don’t constantly have to move around.