NY Lawmakers on the Move May 16, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

Mayor Adams Reduces NYC Small Businesses Violations

Mayor Eric Adams

New York City Mayor Eric Adams yesterday announced major steps to reduce burdens on and cut red tape for the city’s small businesses by announcing reforms to 118 city regulations. 

The 118 reforms stem from Executive Order 2 (EO2) “Small Business Forward”  — signed in January 2022 — that requires city agencies to review existing business regulations and ensure local businesses face fewer needless fines and penalties without jeopardizing public health or safety. 

The reforms include the repeal of 30 provisions, the reduction of civil penalties associated with 49 provisions, and amendments to 39 provisions to include a first-time warning or cure period or to extend an existing cure period.   

Executing on Small Business Forward was a critical first step to fundamentally overhauling how the city engages with small business, ensuring a more seamless and supportive interaction on every front. The Small Business Advisory Commission — which was established by Executive Order 15 signed earlier this month — will partner with the city to continue this crucial work of cutting red tape, reducing fines, and introducing more cure periods and first-time warnings. 

The interagency working group that carried out EO2, meanwhile, will begin its work of streamlining and accelerating business processes and openings in order to launch the city’s one-stop-shop online business portal. 

“From the earliest days of my administration, I made clear that the city would be a partner to the small business community, which is the backbone of our economy,” said Mayor Adams. “The reforms we are outlining are a direct result of us listening to nearly 1,000 small business owners and putting in place a plan of action to help fill their needs. Today, we are cutting red tape, reducing burdensome regulations, and saving our small businesses approximately $8.9 million — supercharging our recovery and paving the way for an equitable, five-borough economy.”  

AG James Warns New Yorkers About Sham Charities Created in Response to Buffalo Terror Attack

Attorney General Letitia James

New York Attorney General Letitia James yesterday issued an alert urging New Yorkers to beware of potentially fraudulent charities created in the wake of the hate-filled terror attack in Buffalo. 

Anyone who is considering making a donation to organizations that are purportedly assisting victims of the shooting should consult the office’s charitable giving tips before donating. Scammers often use incidents of crisis to perpetuate frauds to divert donations away from the intended recipients.

“In the wake of tragedies, like the horrific shooting in Buffalo, scammers often take advantage of acts of kindness for personal gain,” said James. “As New Yorkers from every corner of the state show their support and solidarity with the Buffalo community, I urge them to be careful of sham charities and make sure they give to trustworthy organizations and groups. I join the whole Buffalo community and the entire state of New York in mourning this senseless, hate-filled act of terror.”

James also offered the following tips for those donating to those impacted by the Buffalo shooting:  

Check Before Giving. Donate to charities you are familiar with and carefully review information about the charity before you give. Most charities are required to register and file financial reports with the Office of the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau if they solicit contributions from New Yorkers. Check our website, charitiesnys.com, for financial reports of charities or ask the charity directly for its reports. 

Ask How Your Donation Will Be Used. Find out how the charity plans to use your donation, including the services and individuals your donation will support. Find out more than just the cause. Find out what organization or entity will receive the money and what programs it conducts or what services it provides.

Look Into Newly Formed Organizations Carefully. Often, in the aftermath of tragedies, new organizations emerge to meet community needs. While most of these organizations are well-intentioned, and some may provide innovative forms of assistance, some may not have the experience or infrastructure to follow through on their promises, and some may turn out to be scams. 

Solicited by Email? Find Out Who is Soliciting. If you receive a solicitation by email, find out who is behind that email address. Contact the charity whose name is in the email or visit its website to find out if the email is really from the charity. Do not give personal information or your credit card number in response to an email solicitation unless you have checked out the charity. 

Don’t Give Cash. Give directly to the charity either by check made payable to the organization or through the charity’s website. 

Be Careful About Personal Information. Be cautious before giving out credit card or personal information over the phone, by text message, or via the internet. In all cases, make sure you are familiar with the organization to which you give such information and check to see that the fundraising campaign is legitimate.

Report Suspicious Organizations. If you believe an organization is misrepresenting its work, or that a fundraising or charitable scam is taking place, please contact the Charities Bureau at charities.complaints@ag.ny.gov.  

Colton Inform Community That HEAP Cooling Assistance Program Now Open

Assemblymember William Colton

Assemblyman William Colton (D-Brooklyn) is notifying the community that the 2021-2022 HEAP Cooling Assistance program opened on May 2, 2022.

“Every year my office helps qualified households to apply for the HEAP Cooling Assistance program. If you are eligible and would like to apply for the cooling program, then you can come into my office for help at 155 Kings Highway, Brooklyn, NY 11223, or call 718-236-1598 for more information. The cooling assistance benefit helps eligible households buy and install an air conditioner or fan up to a cost of $800.00. You may receive one cooling assistance benefit per applicant household for the purchase and installation of an air conditioner or a fan to help your home to stay cool during hot summer days. Applications are accepted from May 2 to August 31, 2022,” Colton stated.

“Air conditioners are given on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible applicants. Applicants are only eligible for a Cooling Assistance benefit once every five years,” Colton added.