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Councilman wants audit of costs of running a small business

The chairman of the City Council’s Committee on Small Business urged city Comptroller Scott Stringer in a letter Thursday to conduct an audit of the numerous financial burdens the city’s government and economic ecosystem impose on entrepreneurs.

Bronx Councilman Mark Gjonaj highlighted statistics finding that modest, privately-owned firms account for the vast majority of jobs in the Big Apple. He says reports suggesting internet shopping and the slow expansion of chains in certain sectors have exerted pressure on such low-level operators.

“Small businesses are the backbone of New York City,” the Democrat and former realtor wrote. “The rise of online retail and big box stores, government regulations and taxes, and changing consumer behavior, small businesses are struggling.”

The councilman’s office noted that a recent survey by the startup Thumbtack gave New York State a D+ for “business friendliness,” and logged numerous complaints from proprietors in the five boroughs who complained of high taxes, onerous regulations and clunky city websites. Gjonaj encouraged Stringer to examine these issues, as well as the escalating costs of rent, employee benefits and government penalties.

The councilman, one of the local legislature’s few fiscal conservatives, expressed hope that the analysis might alter how government engages with the private sector.

“Such a survey could serve as a ‘business-friendly’ index and ultimately help inform policymakers on potential measures to improve New York’s business environment,” the letter says.

SOURCE: Section Page News – Crain’s New York Business – Read entire story here.