City Hall isn’t moving quickly enough to aid the Big Apple’s small businesses that have been crippled by the coronavirus outbreak — and key programs have yet to make payments, a top city lawmaker told The Post.
“We can’t just continue making announcements,” said Councilwoman Carlina Rivera (D-Manhattan). “Every single day these businesses are closed, they’re closer to shutting forever.”
She added: “To not have our grant and interest-free loan program up and running right away just sends a bad message to our small businesses.”
De Blasio announced the slew of small business aid programs on March 8, but Rivera told The Post that the money hasn’t started flowing yet — and that more aggressive steps are needed to ensure the city’s small businesses survive the pandemic.
Rivera called on de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to delay city and state tax filings — including commercial rent taxes, property tax payments and halting all utility shutdowns, in a letter sent to City Hall and Albany on Wednesday.
“While our focus right now is to stop the spread of the virus, protect our vulnerable neighbors and prevent our healthcare system from being overwhelmed, we must, at the same time, lay the groundwork for the massive effort that will be needed to mitigate economic impacts and promote recovery as quickly as possible,” she wrote.
Rivera also said the city and state must establish new small business grants, interest-free loans, legal services and other benefits while also guaranteeing paid sick-leave for workers remains covered.
Reps for Cuomo and de Blasio did not immediately return messages.
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