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Small Business Leaders Voice Support For PlaNYC

11:31 AM EDT on June 1, 2007

Critics of congestion pricing often claim that small businesses will bear an unfair burden if the Mayor is successful in implementing his plan. But yesterday, a diverse group of small business leaders from throughout the five boroughs gathered on the steps of City Hall yesterday to voice their support for the Mayor's PlaNYC initiative. From The Campiagn for New York Future's press release:

The organizations and leaders who stepped up today to support the Mayor's plan and enlist in the broad-based Campaign for New York's Future included:

  • New York City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Manhattan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Dumbo Improvement District
  • National Supermarkets Association
  • Chinese Chamber of Commerce New York
  • New York Industrial Retention Network
  • 86th Street Bay Ridge Business Improvement District

Said Maria Alvarez Castro, President and CEO of the Manhattan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, "By and large, small business owners in New York City also live here. They want what is best for their families and the City's future and are willing to support sensible efforts to create a healthier environment to live and work."

Added Tucker Reed, Executive Director of the Dumbo Improvement District, "Change is not an option. It is an urgent priority. Global warming, traffic congestion and health problems, such as asthma and lung disease, are getting worse and will continue to worsen absent serious measures, such as the far-reaching PlaNYC initiative. It is time all of us got on board with solutions."

Joe Ithier of the New York City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce said, "In addition to the enormous health benefits of PlaNYC, it will be obvious to any small business owner, who studies the full details of the initiative, that the package of proposals, if enacted, would benefit virtually all business in virtually every industry throughout the five boroughs."

Said Adam Friedman, Executive Director of the New York Industrial Retention Network, "By encouraging environmentally-friendly construction and business operations, the Mayor's sustainability initiative opens the door to creation of entirely new industries such as energy efficient lighting, building materials made from recycled wood and plastic, and healthy paints and cleaning solutions. We see tremendous job creation potential in these emerging industries."

Said Nelson Eusebio of the National Supermarkets Association, "Throughout
the world, there is a growing urgency to efforts to combat climate
change and ensure that our children and our grandchildren inherit a
working planet. Mayor Bloomberg has recognized this growing threat and
is doing something about it. We in the business community hope his
counterparts in Albany develop that same sense of urgency."

Said Justin Yu of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce New York, "Some are pushing the mistaken notion that small businesses would be hurt by congestion pricing. Quite the opposite is true. Pricing is a good idea that we should try. It will certainly speed deliveries throughout the City, especially for those businesses impacted by crosstown traffic on Canal Street."

Said Patrick Condren of the 86th Street Bay Ridge Business Improvement District, "Mass transit is the best and only option for travel for the majority of customers and retail workers, who are the backbone of small businesses throughout the City. The Mayor's PlaNYC initiative, therefore, is critical as it would fund necessary transit service improvements and expansions without overburdening these riders with massive fare hikes."

Said Aaron Grogan, whose parents founded Sweet Sam's Baking Company in the Bronx, "Businesses that must make deliveries in the metropolitan region or that rely on distributors to cater to their customers understand that congestion pricing is a very small price to pay for the immense benefits of a freer, more efficient and more predictable flow of goods."

Norman Hinsey, PE, Vice President of the CSA Group, a leading Hispanic MBE architectural and engineering firm, said, "Our firm strongly supports congestion pricing because it is in synch with the sustainable design we do for New York City public buildings."

According to a December report issued by the Partnership for New York City, the city's leading business organization, excess traffic congestion costs the New York metropolitan region more than $13 billion and up to 52,000 jobs every year - and the problem will only get worse. The Partnership forecasts a 20 percent increase in traffic over the next two decades absent change. Some of the industries hardest hit by excess congestion are manufacturing, trucking, service and repair, wholesale trade and construction.

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