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    01.25.19 In New York Law Journal, Professor David Reiss and Students Argue Against “Small Business” Bill
    David Reiss_New_121x131

    In a commentary appearing in the Jan. 25 edition of the New York Law Journal, Areeb Been Khan ’20, Robert Levy ’19, and Juliana Malandro ’19, along with Professor David Reiss, argue that the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA), currently being debated by the New York City Council, actually contains no protections tailored to small businesses. Instead, the Act would implement a new lease renewal arbitration system that treats all commercial tenancies the same, allowing businesses as large as Amazon to benefit. Consequently, the Act would create a bureaucratic process that works contrary to its stated goals.

    The students, all members of the Community Development Clinic working under the supervision of Clinic founder and director Reiss, were recently invited to testify at a New York City Council hearing regarding the SBJSA.

    The authors suggest that the city implement programs that have been proven to benefit small businesses. “Given that the Act in its current form does not serve its intended goals, the City should consider policy alternatives like formula business restrictions, which may be a more effective way of targeting and protecting small businesses,” they write. “These restrictions will incentivize leasing to new small businesses while protecting existing ones that are at risk of losing their space to commercial chains.”

    Reiss, a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, concentrates on real estate finance and community development. He also serves as Academic Programs Director of the Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship (CUBE) and is the author of the forthcoming book, Paying for the American Dream: How to Reform the Market for Mortgages (Oxford University Press, 2019).

    The Community Development Clinic represents community organizations that wish to help shape the future of these neighborhoods. Students in the Clinic represent community development corporations, cultural institutions, affordable housing providers and small businesses that serve underrepresented communities.

    Read the article here