The regulations that merchants have to navigate through in order to do business in New York City will likely be a topic of conversation at a round table headed by Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Lorelei Salas next week in Bay Ridge.
The round table will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 21, at the Greenhouse Café, 7717 Third Ave., starting at 11 a.m.
Salas is coming to Bay Ridge at the behest of Councilmember Justin Brannan, a Democrat who represents the neighborhood, who said he believes it’s important for local store owners to have a chance to take their concerns directly to the person who heads the Department of Consumer Affairs.
“From Third Avenue to Cropsey Avenue and all throughout Brooklyn, our small businesses are not only the backbone of our local economy but a big part of what keeps our neighborhoods unique. Without our independent mom-and-pop shops providing flavor, every neighborhood would look the same. That’s why we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to support them. Bringing Commissioner Salas to Bay Ridge to hear directly from merchants about their concerns is great way for DCA to better understand how their policies affect local businesses,” Brannan told this newspaper via email on Aug. 15.
Two local business groups, the Merchants of Third Avenue and the Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District, are helping with the planning of the event.
Robert Howe, president of the Merchants of Third Avenue, said he is urging his members to attend.
“This is a unique opportunity to voice your concerns and questions directly to the head of the agency that has a major involvement with the operation business in NYC. Tell the commissioner what is good, bad or needed to operate your business in the city,” Howe wrote in an email to his members.
Salas, who is a lawyer, was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to serve as commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs in May of 2016.
She has experiencing working in the federal and state levels of government. In 2009, she was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve in the U.S. Department of Labor as the wage and hour administrator.
Prior to that, she worked in the Litigation and Labor Bureaus at the New York State attorney general’s office, where she investigating businesses for violations of state and federal labor laws.