Letter: New bill could hurt small businesses without storefronts by eliminating Google Maps

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Photo Adrian Childress

To the Editor,

I am the owner of AI Rides LLC, a personal electric vehicle repair and sales shop, located in the South Bronx off of Bruckner Boulevard on 132nd Street and St Ann’s Avenue. I became the owner of this business in August of 2021, and have since been met with open arms and flowing traffic.

My business is not located in any storefront, so all of my business is done by appointment only. The only way that my business can be found online at this current moment is through Google Maps searches for personal electric vehicles and bike repair. I am concerned that a bill in Congress may negatively impact and potentially be the end to any growth of my small business and many others like it that cannot afford storefronts or pay for large ads putting them at the forefront of Google searches. 

The customers I receive via the internet keep my business alive and running. Passing the American Choice and Innovation Online Act in Congress will work against everything I’ve been working hard to build. 

I understand both the House and the Senate are considering passing this bill, which would not allow Google searches to contain Google Maps as part of the results. Since the Senate majority leader is our one and only Sen. Chuck Schumer, I strongly urge him to consider the devastating impact it could have on small businesses like mine. 

New York City is only just now recovering from the pandemic. I think we should reconsider doing anything, even inadvertent, to hurt small businesses in New York City.

Samuel Pacheco

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