Town Hall Meeting: Rent Relief for Manhattan's Small Businesses

Friday, October 23, 2020 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Town Hall Meeting: Rent Relief for Manhattan's Small Businesses

Many small businesses in NYC are struggling to pay rent as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. This discussion will focus on solutions, including two major legislative proposals now under consideration, lease negotiation strategies that have worked, and other available resources. Several elected officials, community leaders, small business owners, lawyers and other experts are confirmed to speak.


9:00am – Opening Remarks by Jessica Walker, President and CEO, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce

9:05am – The State of Small Business Tenants in New York City

  • Natasha Amott, Owner, Whisk
  • Debra Guzov, Founder, Guzov LLC (a woman-owned law firm)
  • Andrew Rigie, Executive Director, NYC Hospitality Alliance
  • Robert Schwartz, Owner, Eneslow Pedorthic Enterprises, Inc.

9:25am – Update from Jonnel Doris, Commissioner of the New York City Small Business Services Department

9:35am – Lease Negotiations to Work It Out

  • Alan Schmerzler, USA Vice Chair, Cushman & Wakefield

9:40am – Recommendations from Tim Wu, American Attorney, Professor at Columbia Law School and contributing opinion writer for The New York Times

9:50am – Discussion on the NYS “Save Our Storefronts” legislation

  • New York State Assemblyman Harvey Epstein
  • New York State Senator Brad Hoylman

10:05am – Discussion on State/City legislation to incentivize rent relief through property tax abatements

  • New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh
  • New York City Councilman Keith Powers

10:20am – Is federal help coming soon?

  • U.S. Congressman Adriano Espaillat

10:28am - Where small businesses can get help

  • Natalie Mendell, Director of Business Recovery, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce

10:30am - Close