Last week, New York City Mayor Eric Adams issued his "Small Business Forward" Executive Order, calling on the City's Department of Consumer and Worker Protection and several other City agencies to review their business regulations with the goal of reducing fine schedules and allowing for cure periods or warnings for first time violations. 

In announcing the order, Mayor Adams said, "Our small businesses have been through so much during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The last thing they need to deal with are unnecessary fines.  We're cutting the red tape and bringing real relief to the entrepreneurs who have made their dreams a reality and keep our local economy strong." 

The Executive Order requires that, within three months, each affected agency identify the 25 laws or rules that are responsible for the greatest number of summons and fines issued to small businesses. For each law or rule identified, agencies are required to: 

  • Submit recommendations for which laws or rules should be reformed by either eliminating them, reducing the fee schedules, allowing for a first-time warning, or allowing for a cure period for first-time violations;
  • Where no change to a law or rule is recommended, explain why the status quo should be maintained, such as because the law or rule protects against a serious health or safety risk; and 
  • Identify the necessary actions in order to put the changes into place, such as rule-making or legislation. 

The City's Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, which is the country's largest municipal consumer protection agency, enforces the New York City Consumer Protection Law.  The CPL sets forth detailed requirements for advertising in the City.  We'll be keeping an eye on whether the DCWP proposes changes to the CPL or to any of the other rules that impact advertisers that market in New York City.  We'll update you as we learn more.