New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Safe and Accessible Storefronts

ADA Ramp for Storefront

As the Wall Street Journal reported, Ben introduced two bills to help small businesses stay open and keep them afloat as New York City fights through the economic fallout of Covid-19. The first bill creates a low-interest small grants and loans program that would provide restaurants with up to $250,000 in funding to make restaurants compliant with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The funding could be used for infrastructure changes, ventilation improvements, as well as other public health upgrades to assist those who are at greater risk for developing serious complications from the coronavirus. Not to mention, making entrances and facilities accessible. In exchange for accepting these funds, landlords would have to allow renewals or lower rents. This is a win-win-win, for landlords who buildings will get free and low-cost retrofits, for the 10% of New Yorkers and tourists who are disabled and will have access to more storefronts, and finally for small businesses welcoming new customers and seeing rents lowered.