Column: New vaccine mandate and helping small businesses

Councilman Mark Gjonaj
Photo courtesy New York City Council
This week, the mayor’s executive order issuing a vaccine mandate for select business types goes into effect, soon to be followed by city enforcement in September. Patrons of the identified types of businesses will have to produce proof of vaccination, not merely negative test results or antibody tests.
Although clarification on how exactly the administration will enforce this mandate is needed, for now the responsibility is on businesses to check the vaccine status of customers, which will include restaurants, bars, movie theaters, gyms, entertainment venues and more. For a full list of covered business types and further details about the “Key to NYC” program please visit the “Office of the Mayor” page of
My office has persisted on its mission to serve the residents of New York City Council District 13. Beginning this week, we have held a book bag and school supply giveaway in Loretto Park to guarantee that no child heads to school in the fall unprepared. I have continued also on my office’s Shop Our City initiative, where we highlight small businesses essential to the living texture of our community, and as per my mandate as chair of the council’s Committee on Small Business. This week we stopped by Nick’s European Market on Williamsbridge Road. I am continually astounded by the resiliency of our small businesses in the face of the greatest challenge they have perhaps ever faced in our city’s history. I applaud them and I encourage us all to prioritize our local, mom-and-pop, brick-and-mortar small businesses.
All district events are held with the utmost COVID-19 precautions, including PPE use, sanitization and proper distancing.
For further information about upcoming constituents services and events, or any other district concern, please contact my office either by phone at (718) 931-1721 or at

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