The latest happenings at the Chamber and the broader business community.

Chamber calls on Speaker Johnson to withdraw draconian proposals that will accelerate NYC business hardship

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Statement by Jessica Walker, President and CEO of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce:

“Most small businesses in New York City are on the brink of collapse with little to no revenue coming in. Indeed, most businesses are not even thinking about profitability right now because they are consumed with concerns about their viability. But, in an unbelievable move, Speaker Corey Johnson and the New York City Council are introducing two bills today that could accelerate their demise.


One bill (Intro. 1923) would force essential businesses to retain employees during the pandemic unless there are narrowly-defined "just cause" reasons; otherwise business owners must enter time-consuming legal arbitration in order to justify layoffs.


The other bill (Intro. 1918) would force businesses with 100 or more employees to pay each hourly worker a premium of between $40-$75 per shift during the pandemic, which is above and beyond their usual pay.


These bills show a huge disconnect with our current realities, as they attack the very small businesses that are collectively the biggest source of jobs and which we are all relying on to lead the city’s economic recovery.


Few businesses, including small and medium-sized businesses, hospitals and nonprofit organizations, are in a position to adhere to these new laws without significant financial assistance from city government.


We urge Speaker Johnson and the City Council to either reject these harmful bills outright or pledge to fully fund the new laws they implement during this unprecedented crisis that would cause more pain to businesses.”


About the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce

The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit organization that represents and supports the local business community across the borough. We do this, primarily, by fostering “game- changing” connections for our members and by working with government to ensure that the business climate is supportive and responsive to their needs. Through our foundation, we also host educational events for small business owners and conduct outreach to help them thrive. 
In all that we do, our overall mission is to advance economic empowerment. 
We help the courageous entrepreneurs and business owners who put everything on the line to follow their creative ambitions, pursue financial freedom and “spread the love” by employing others. Indeed, their success is integral to New York City’s broad economic prosperity. 
In 2020, our organization is celebrating its 100 Year Anniversary and is engaged in special programming and events to highlight our proud history and promising future of helping local businesses succeed.