FAB Biz Blast – Oct 2019

On September 15, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a ban on all flavored e-cigarettes (now including menthol), in an effort to curb use by young people, who are often attracted to the fruit- and candy-flavored nicotine that helped make “vaping” popular. Hundreds of users around the country have been stricken with a lung illness that is thought to be directly related to the use of vape devices (such as JUUL) for smoking. New York is the first state to actually implement a statewide ban. The Cuomo administration expects state lawmakers to vote on a bill that would make the ban permanent after the next legislative session begins in January.

The initial emergency ban, which went into effect immediately, lasts 90 days, but retailers are being given a grace period before enforcement begins on Oct. 4.

Any individual or entity with ownership in a retail, distribution or manufacturing company accused of selling banned flavors could face civil penalties of up to $2,000 per violation. Retail employees accused of selling prohibited flavors could also face civil penalties. Under the ban, a violation can be issued for each individual unit of flavored e-liquid that is possessed, manufactured, sold or offered.

Additionally, the Cuomo administration is stepping up education and enforcement in the wake of e-cigarette issues. Currently, anyone younger than 18 is prohibited from buying e-cigarettes. However, the legal age will be raised to 21 on Nov. 13 under a law that was signed by the governor in July.
(from a story by AM New York)

In February of this year, Local Law 28 went into effect and the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) will no longer impose civil penalties for work without a permit for storefront signs smaller than 150 square feet in area or 1,200 pounds in weight, nor issue violations on any storefront signs through February 9, 2021, unless the sign is an imminent threat to public health and safety. 

FAB FULTON was at the City Hall rally held to bring attention to this issue and successfully advocated to get this important relief passed to help affected small businesses in the district.

There are steps you can take if you received a sign violation, to get penalties reduced, or even waived; the City has created two temporary programs that business owners can take advantage of until February 2020.
If you received a sign violation and HAVE NOT PAID YET, you may be able to reduce your penalty or interest if violations have been corrected. Go to http://bit.ly/AwningAmnesty for more information.
If you received a sign violation and ALREADY PAID, you may be eligible to receive technical assistance and reduced permit fees up to 75%. Go to http://bit.ly/AwningAssist for more information.

Businesses who received a sign-related violation on or after December 28, 2017, and have not paid the civil penalty, may also submit a request for a waiver of these penalties to DOB by submitting an L2 Form at a DOB Borough Office (you can visit your local DOB borough office on Homeowners Night, any Tuesday from 4-7pm. The Brooklyn Borough Office is located at 210 Joralemon Street, 8th Floor.)
Additional questions? Contact signmoratorium@buildings.nyc.gov

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The Fulton Area Business Alliance (FAB FULTON) is a non-profit organization that advocates for and collaborates with small businesses and property owners along Fulton Street in Brooklyn’s neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill to maintain a safe, clean, and welcoming community while securing resources and partnerships for initiatives that enhance and promote the district.

This post contains links to the articles and information referenced in our latest FAB BIZ BLAST communication. You can subscribe to future newsletters; sign up here for the FAB FULTON BIZ BLAST to get the latest information and resources for FAB FULTON Businesses!