Overview

United for Small Business NYC (USBnyc) is a coalition of community organizations across New York City fighting to protect small businesses and non-residential tenants from the threat of displacement, with a focus on owner-operated, minority-run businesses that serve low-income and minority communities.

Our Platform

As New York City attempts to recover and heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical for the next administration to understand the challenges facing small businesses, especially commercial tenants, and to take bold and comprehensive action to ensure that local economic development is supported.

Click here to view our 2020 platform:

  • Confront speculation and rising rent
  • Prioritize racial equity and accessibility in funding opportunities
  • Ensure access to legal resources
  • Put forward a neighborhood-centric vision for commercial corridors.

Get Involved

Do you belong to an organization that wants to prevent speculation and displacement of small businesses? Are you a small business owner or commercial tenant who wants to organize for a more equitable system?

  • Follow us on Twitter and use our hashtags: #NoSmallBizNoNYC #FairRentNYC
  • Email karen.n@anhd.org to learn how you can become part of our coalition!

Past Victories

  • Commercial Tenant Harassment Law

The Commercial Tenant Harassment Law in New York City prohibits a landlord from harassing their commercial tenants by way of making discriminatory threats (e.g., age, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.), requesting citizenship status, and interfering with a tenant’s construction or repairs. If a landlord does harass their tenant, they can be fined up to $50,000 per property and a court can deny that landlord construction plans at the building until the harassment has ceased.

  • Legal Support for Small Businesses

The NYC Department of Small Business Services launched the Commercial Lease Assistance Program, which provides small businesses with legal services on leasing as a way to address the power imbalance between commercial tenants and the landlords who exploit them.

  • Commercial Vacancy Registry

The City now has to maintain a public and searchable database - a Storefront Registry - that shows counts of vacant and occupied first and second floor commercial spaces, as well as average and median rents by council district, borough and citywide. Landlords are required to report information by property, and the city is also required to publish a searchable database of specific property information. These databases will allow policymakers, advocates, and community members to track vacancy trends in their own neighborhoods and communities while holding landlords accountable for failing to register.

  • State of the Storefronts Legislation

The City is now required to conduct a comprehensive analysis of neighborhood commercial corridors every five years. Very little data exists about commercial spaces in the city, which means we have a very unclear picture of how vast our commercial vacancy issue is. This legislation - the State of the Storefronts - gives policymakers and advocates the necessary information to create meaningful protections for New York’s commercial tenants.

Related Resources

ANHD & USBnyc Celebrate Major Victory for Commercial Tenant Organizing
Regarding Priorities for the New York State Executive Budget for Economic Development 2021-2022
ANHD Analysis Reimagines How We Can Invest in Communities
Undocumented New Yorkers Need Economic Relief - They Keep Our City Alive
The threat of displacement to New York City’s small businesses and non-profits has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis.
Most significantly, our members and clients need rent relief. No one should be profiteering from the crisis, including banks, creditors, large landlords, and corporations.
Small Business Coalition Responds to City Council Legislation
Through interviews, focus groups, and surveys, we empowered participants to share the challenges they face as commercial tenants in rapidly changing neighborhoods.
A neighborhood-by-neighborhood analysis of the economic vitality and small business landscape of New York City.

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