NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — There is a new plan in the works to try to stem the tide of small business closures across New York City.
Charley Ryan, who co-owns Brooklyn Bowl, says if everyone could see the magnitude of this crisis, it would look like a burning building.
“This is an emergency,” Ryan says.
Ryan is also on the Board of the Brooklyn Allied Bars and Restaurants and says businesses are in need of help.
“People are going out of business all the time. It's heartbreaking,” he said.
City Councilmember Brad Lander says landlords have a role to play, though most aren't giving tenants any breaks at this point.
“The vast majority, more than 70% have nor seen any rent forgiveness,” Lander explains.
The councilman proposing giving landlords a break on property taxes over the next decade, if those landlords are willing to be flexible on rents.
“Forgive some of that back rent or defer it into this new 10 year affordable lease and let's hit reset all together,” Lander suggests.
New York City first needs permission from Albany. Legislation is in the works and Lander calls the bill an investment into the small business economy and into the city.
“If we don't save these businesses, there's not gonna be anyone there to pay the taxes,” he explains.