City Expanding Initiative Offering Free On-Site Compliance Consultation For Small Businesses

May 2, 2017
Commissioner Gregg Bishop (on the left) of NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) today, during National Small Business Week, announced the expansion of an initiative that offers free, on-site compliance consultations to help small business owners prevent costly fines and penalties.

The compliance consultations, which first launched one year ago, have served nearly 1,000 small businesses across New York City. To expand the initiative’s reach, SBS is offering new resources on the most common violations that occur by business type. This service is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s larger Small Business First initiative, which includes the goal of reducing fines and penalties against small businesses. Since 2014, Mayor de Blasio’s administration has achieved a 40% decrease in fines assessed against small businesses.

“Running a small business is a labor of love, and the City of New York wants to make it as easy as possible for business owners to succeed,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “Since 2014, the City has reduced fines against small businesses by 40%, and these new compliance resources are another step in the right direction.”

“The compliance advisors at SBS have done a phenomenal job going around the city offering free advice to small business owners,” said Council Member Robert Cornegy, Chair of the New York City Council’s Small Business Committee. “Unnecessary regulation is no longer a perennial cause of concern for many small businesses. Government regulations, while necessary, must always be sensible and pragmatic. Our city’s legislators are leading the way in changing not only the issues faced in New York City, but nationwide as well.”

The new resources unveiled today highlight for small business owners the most commonly issued violations by business type. By learning which violations are frequently identified during City inspections, business owners have the information they need to comply with regulations and avoid costly fines and penalties. Compliance consultations are available free of charge and allow small business owners to receive direct, on-site guidance from the City. More information on common business violations may be found by visiting

Businesses may call 311 or visit to schedule a free on-site compliance consultation.

Avoiding Costly Fines and Penalties: What To Look For By Business Type:

Food Service Businesses
  • Maintaining correct food temperatures: $250-600 fine
  • Presence of pests and pest-friendly conditions: $200-350 fine
  • Keeping potentially hazardous foods at required temperatures in refrigeration units and hot holding equipment: $300-350 fine
  • Displaying payment and refund policies: $50-500 fine
  • Displaying prices for each item sold or service provided: $25-250 (products) or $50-500 (service)
Retail Businesses
  • Sweeping sidewalks and maintaining clean gutters: $100-300 fine]
  • Regularly inspecting fire safety systems: $600-1,000 fine
  • Ensuring receipts are complete and correct: $50-500 fine
  • Displaying payment and refund policies: $50-500 fine
  • Displaying prices for each item sold or services provided: $25-250 fine (product) or $50-500 fine (service)
Personal Care Businesses
  • Sweeping sidewalks and maintaining clean gutters: $100-300 fine
  • Selling or displaying expired over-the-counter medications: $100-500 fine for each group of identical medications
  • Ensuring receipts are complete and correct: $50-500 fine
  • Displaying payment and refund policies: $50-500 fine
  • Displaying prices for each item sold or service provided: $25-250 fine (product) or $50-500 fine (services)
For more information, visit or call 311.
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