October 16, 2018
The Hon. Margaret Chin
District Office of NYC Council Member Margaret Chin
101 Lafayette St., 9th Floor
New York NY 10013
Dear Council Member Chin:
I am writing to express the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative’s support for the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA), as a critical first step in assisting local “mom and pop” stores to stay afloat in this particularly unfriendly small business environment. We believe that SBJSA will help level the playing field between building owners and retail tenants, giving these retail establishments a greater shot at survival.
“Mom and pop” businesses have traditionally comprised the very heart of our Lower East Side neighborhoods, as they have in the vast majority of NYC communities. With ever increasing rents and the demolition of the city’s older, smaller buildings for replacement by much larger structures with larger retail space, these small establishments are increasingly being displaced by corporate chains and franchises. This affects the very character of our city, and undoubtedly affects democratic governing, as national corporations and franchises are likely to be less rooted and involved in community affairs.
As a preservation organization, we know that small businesses typically fit well within the smaller commercial spaces available in historic buildings, such as those found in the Lower East Side. The human scale of historic buildings and small retail provide an excellent urban environment for those who live, work and visit historic neighborhoods.
We respectfully request that you vote to approve passage of SBJSA. Thank you.
Richard D. Moses