In January, New York City Mayor Eric Adams issued a "Small Business Forward" Executive Order, calling on the New York City Department of Worker Protection and several other City agencies to review their business regulations with the goal of reducing unnecessary impact on small businesses. Last week, the Mayor released a report outlining the proposed changes that the City plans to make, which includes amending 24 rules that are enforced by the DCWP.

The changes, most of which will require amendments to the New York City Administrative Code or The Rules of The City of New York, are expected to be implemented by the end of the year.

In the announcement of the proposed changes, Mayor Adams said, "From the earliest days of my administration, I made clear that the city would be a partner to the small business community, which is the backbone of our economy. The reforms we are outlining are a direct result of us listening to nearly 1,000 small business owners and putting in place a plan of action to help fill their needs." DCWP Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga added, "Thanks to the mayor’s leadership, we’re reducing fines and helping businesses across New York City succeed while ensuring consumers are protected."

Although the changes are intended to support small businesses, the updates to the City's laws and rules should provide some relief to larger retailers doing business in the City as well. For example, the City's Administrative Code requires retailers to post their rain check policy, if they have one. The Mayor is proposing to repeal this requirement. The City's Administrative Code also prohibits businesses from keeping windows and doors open while the air conditioning is on and requires chain stores to post a notice about where customers can report violations. The Mayor is proposing to eliminate penalties for first-time violations and to allow retailers to cure violations related to failures to post the required signage.

The Mayor is proposing numerous other changes to laws and rules enforced by the DCWP, including changes related to product packaging, price lists and other signage requirements, sales of medications, sales of deli items, the requirement to provide scales in-store, activities taking place outside of the store, receipts, and other issues. The full details are available here.

"Thanks to the Mayor's leadership, we’re reducing fines and helping businesses across New York City succeed while ensuring consumers are protected" -- DCWP Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga