In the epicenter of capitalism, the only thing that can slow down the engine of growth is regulation, whether city, county, state, et al. This is not even recognizing the dramatic loss that New York suffered by the Amazon decision not to come. Competition, high tax rates and rents make it all the more difficult to run a small business in any of the boroughs of NYC.
One could argue that in the city that is perhaps more liberal than any other in the nation, it is attempting to put out of business those that they proclaim to help: immigrants. Just another of the myriad examples of hypocrisy on the left.
Why you ask? A study published by the Fiscal Policy Institute and based on census data, found that more than 69,000 New York City business owners, about 48 percent of the total, are foreign born. These immigrant entrepreneurs hail from around the world and run companies in every sector of the economy. But in certain lines of business, including dry cleaning, taxi services and grocery stores, the study shows that immigrant owners dominate.
Small Business Owners in New York City
In just the past few years, an increasing number of regulations have come into, or are about to come into, effect. And these regulations are slowly but surely strangling small business owners in the city. Enter Mayor Bill De Blasio and the sanctuary city. While most politicians will fib on the campaign, the not-yet self-proclaimed socialist said when running for Mayor, “Let’s take the burden off small business of excessive and unfair fines, let’s leave the small business owners with the resources to actually create new jobs, and in fact lets go the next step, lets provide loans if they need it.” Doesn’t seem to be working to plan.
Let’s look at a few examples of how NYC is keeping capitalism down, and in cities run by Democrats, it will be coming to you shortly, if it hasn’t already.
The New York City Council passed Paid Sick Leave legislation that requires employers with 20 or more employees to provide up to five paid sick leave days a year to employees who have worked at least four months to care for themselves and their families. That sounds reasonable to me, although that number will increase to 12 days next year.
However, the state of New York has passed legislation requiring businesses to provide up to eight weeks of paid time off work for their employees who have worked for them for more than six months so that they can care for family members, which include grandparents, grandchildren and domestic partners, who are very ill or have a serious health condition. Again, I empathize with this law, although you have to make sure that it is a legitimate claim, as two months can put a strain on a small business.
These are just a few of the regulatory issues facing small businesses in New York. In Part 2 of this story, we will examine additional regulatory costs that are hurting businesses in the city and state.