Electeds Behind ‘Save Our Storefronts Act’ Tour LES Small Businesses

Posted on: December 4th, 2020 at 5:08 am by

Since last spring, the coronavirus pandemic has laid waste to countless small businesses around the city, with many more barely treading water. Assemblymember Harvey Epstein and State Senator Brad Holyman are looking to change that.

The two elected officials visited Lower East Side stores Wednesday in an effort to promote the Save Our Storefronts Act. They listened as small business owners explained how they’ve been impacted by COVID-19, and heard firsthand about the shortcomings of city, state, and federal support to date.

The proposed legislation would help cover the cost of rent for COVID-19 affected businesses and nonprofits, by using State and Federal funds. It would also require a small business or non-profit and the property owner to share the burden of the shortfall. Certified COVID-19 affected tenants would pay the lesser of 20% of their income or one-third of their rent; property owners would be required to forgive 20% of the rent, leaving the State (using federal funds) to pay the remainder.

So far, the bill has garnered the support of twenty-eight legislators as well as a coalition of community groups and small business owners.

“According to a recently released report, 27.8% of small businesses in New York have closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Hoylman in a public statement. “The number one reason? Overdue rent rendered unaffordable due to mandated shutdowns, plummeting revenue, and the disappearance of tourism. These businesses make up the lifeblood of New York City. They give our neighborhoods character. And they employ over half of New York State’s workforce.”

Recent Stories

Opposition Mounts Against Public Hotel Garden Revamp on Chrystie Street

The 28-story Public Hotel hopes to reconfigure its garden area along Chrystie Street. Neighbors are not having it. Posters in the immediate vicinity display the opposition to the liquor license modification. Claiming that the new garden format would be an “open air eating and drinking playground for the rich.” According to materials submitted to the […]

Developer to Close Lands End II Parking Lot by Month End for New 700-Foot Towers

Not two months after the Appellate Court overturned community lawsuits stopping the Two Bridges mega-developments, one of said projects is now moving forward. Tenants of the Lands End II housing complex were informed, via letter, that the rear parking lot will close by the end of April to make way for the 700-foot megatowers by […]

An Art Show to Benefit the Educational Alliance

A new art exhibit to support the Educational Alliance and its Manny Cantor Center kicks off this weekend. Drawing inspiration from the recently-deposed Hester Street Fair, “CONTINUE TO BE” is a celebratory show welcoming the warmth and hope of springtime in the city, featuring both new and old work from local photographers who have documented life […]

Clayton’s Corner: Shine a Light on the Dark

Since the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, nights are especially dark on the streets of the Lower East Side. Fewer businesses, less activity, less overall light. In this latest installment of Clayton’s Corner, the neighborhood documentarian shines a light on the darkness.

City Officially Breaks Ground on $1.45B East Side Coastal Resiliency Project

After an initial delay, the contested $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency Project is set to break ground in the coming days. All against a backdrop of legal filings and vociferous community opposition. “Building a recovery for all of us means fighting climate change and investing in resilient communities,” Mayor de Blasio stated in a […]