New law requires state agencies proposing new rules to consider the effect of the regulations on small businesses

QUEENS, N.Y. – A bill sponsored by Assembly Member Aravella Simotas (D-36) enacting new regulatory reform measures, was signed into law on Friday, December 6, 2019. The measure requires state agencies that propose new rules to assess the impact of the rules on small businesses and local governments, as well as the time needed for these entities to comply with the change.

In New York, small businesses and local restaurants are the backbone of the local economy and employ half of the private sector workforce. However, New York State continues to be one of the most difficult places to operate a business. Small businesses and local restaurant owners consistently cite aggressive enforcement of newly enacted regulations without proper guidance, often resulting in numerous fines, as a major part of the problem.

“As a daughter of small business owners who helped my parents operate their delicatessen, I remember the difficulty of keeping up with, and interpreting countless new and existing regulations set by state agencies without much guidance,” Simotas said. “It angers me to hear that many local businesses encountered the same problem and that some of my favorite local restaurants have been trampled with fines for not understanding new regulatory measures. We need to do right by our small businesses and provide them with the tools they need to succeed.”

Simotas introduced this legislation in response to concerns she frequently heard from restaurant owners in the community struggling to avoid overly aggressive enforcement of new regulations. The new law aims to improve the lack of regulatory guidance and increase awareness of rule changes. State agencies will now have to describe how they intend to communicate the new requirements to local business and restaurant owners and give due consideration to the practical, legal and fiscal constraints that may affect the ability of these entities to implement new regulatory requirements.

“It is my hope that with this new law, small businesses can breathe a sigh of relief because they will be given a fair chance to comply with new regulations. These efforts are an important step in the right direction to provide the necessary support and guidance our small businesses need,” Simotas said.