Column: FAIRER Program is a help to our small businesses

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On Monday, the city administration initiated the FAIRER (Fines and Interest Reduction Enabling Recovery) Program, as mandated by the law I had passed earlier in the summer to protect small businesses.
From Sept. 20-Dec. 20, eligible persons who had a judgment entered and incurred no default penalty after March 7, 2020, and June 20, 2021, can see as much as 75% of fines levied by the Environmental Control Board (ECB) reduced. If a person did not receive a default penalty but the judgment was entered before March 7, 2020, they are eligible for a 25% reduction. And finally, persons that did not attend the hearing and received a default penalty, must pay the default penalty and interest. To assess your reduction eligibility and if deemed eligible, apply for a reduction by visiting https://portal.311.nyc.gov/article/?kanumber=KA-03455.
The FAIRER Program will go a long way to reducing the financial burden on our small businesses, who have suffered tremendously during the pandemic due to operational limitations and falls in customer traffic. As chair of the council’s Committee on Small Business, I look for any way to make sure petty burdens from city agencies that can accumulate and effectively nickel-and-dime small businesses into closure, are reduced to the greatest extent possible. Following the conclusion of this fine amnesty program, a long-term bill, of which I was also a proud co-prime sponsor, will become effective law: completely overhauling hundreds of city fines and regulations to be more business friendly, serving more as guidance than undue punishment.
For questions, comments or assistance with the FAIRER Program, please contact my district office at either MGjonaj@council.nyc.gov or at (718) 931-1721. Thank you and stay safe. It is my pleasure to serve the members of Council District 13.

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