Business owners in Brooklyn are stepping up and asking City Hall for a new legislation on violations and regulations regarding awnings and other business signs. Since 2015, over 100 business owners near the Fulton Street Corridor have faced fees of between $5,000 and $20,000 for sign and awning violations.
While business owners say they can’t afford these massive fines, city officials still believe these building codes help to protect New Yorkers from being harmed by potentially dangerous signs.
“These fines are very high and represent a big danger to our small businesses,” explained Chandra Haram, the owner of Mellor’s Drug Store at 3343 Fulton St. “We are struggling to pay our rent.”
And seeing as how approximately half of all customers who choose to enter a business do so due to the signs outside of the establishment, business owners are worried that they’ll lose customers when they’re forced to take down their signs.
Because the regulations regarding signs are complex, business owners have asked to have legislation approved that would require the city to repay owners who have since fixed their signs after being fined. Additionally, the legislation would include awning rule training for small business owners and take a closer look at the effectiveness of awning and sign regulations currently in place.
But according to Patrick Wehle, an assistant commissioner with the Department of Buildings, by enforcing these strict building codes, they’re protecting people passing by from dangerously installed signs.
The bill, sponsored by City Council member Rafael Espinal aims to lessen the fines on local business owners for signs and awnings. The bill would wipe out the fines business owners received in the past two years.
“The fines that the business owners are facing are more than what a lot of them are paying in rent monthly,” Espinal said. “That’s completely debilitating to immigrant- and minority-owned small businesses.”
However, this bill supposedly threatens to once again litigate a conflict between private and public sectors. In 2003, controversy and concerns began when the Department of Buildings attacked commercial strips with tickets and fines for their signage. Even then, council members fought back. They obligated the city to begin an outreach program that would educate business owners on the regulations in place, rather than ticket them without warning.
With there being more than 300 bills currently waiting for Senate action, it’s no surprise that bills like this one have come up before. The new bill is asking the city to reconsider the strict building codes currently in place.
While the bill is still being discussed, business owners hope the city signs onto a course of action that will lessen the harsh fines and regulations regarding signage.
According to the New York State Department of Labor, accounting and auditing professions were listed as being one of the most in-demand professions across the state. If you’re interested in being an accountant, there is definitely a market for you. You do have to complete a rather rigorous path to get there, though. Here are just some of the major steps you have to take if you want to become an accountant in New York.
Get your degree
The very first step in becoming an accountant in New York State is earning your degree. You must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from a program that meets the 150 credit hour requirement. The school you obtain your degree from must be an accredited college that is registered with the New York State Board of Regents or the State Department of Education as licensure qualifying. Your degree may be obtained from a foreign country if you have your education credentials evaluated by the proper agency.
Pass the CPA exam
There are four parts to the current CPA exam. Those sections include Business Environment and Concepts, Financial Accounting and Reporting, Audit and Attestation, and Regulation. You can sign up to take a section during the first two months of every quarter; the third month is always a non-testing month. You can take the exams in any order that you choose, but they all must be passed in an 18-month rolling period. There are several private test preparation courses you can take to get ready for each section of the exam.
Once you pass the four sections of the CPA exam, you need to obtain the necessary experience. The required experience is set forth by the New York State Board of Education, Office of Professions, and the State Board of Regents. You must gain one year of full-time work (or the equivalent in part-time work) in the field of accounting. From your experience, you must be able to exercise the following skills: accounting, financial or tax consulting, management advisory services, auditing and attestation, and compilation. All work must be completed under the supervision of a current CPA holder and be performed at any of the following: A government agency, a private institution, public accounting firm, private industrial form, or educational institution. Keep in mind that 51% of employers say that they would automatically dismiss a candidate if they caught a lie on his or her resume, and 40% said it would depend on what the candidate lied about. Make sure you accurately document your experience and be as honest as possible.
Obtain your CPA license
Once you have completed the first three steps, you are eligible for the CPA license. You now must apply for your New York CPA license. There are a few forms you have to submit to the New York State Education Department. Once you get your license, you will need to keep it current by participating in continuing professional education.
For the 2017 fiscal year, roughly 45% of all tax dollars collected in New York City were from property taxes. If you want to be involved in the tax scene in New York, you have to follow these steps. It’s a long, tough road, but it surely pays off.
Friday, June 15th from 6pm to 9pm, Downtown Jamaica will be the ultimate style destination with the BID’s 7th Annual #JJMS… “Jamaica Just My Style” Fashion Event”, showcasing special styles from popular businesses on Jamaica Avenue, our featured designer, Michi Knitwear, by Michele Walden Mcphee from Queens, and introducing Destiny Johnson, Queens up and coming R&B Hip-Hop Artist, with Special Guest Host, “Roxanne Roxanne“, Queens First Female Rap Star.
Jamaica “Just My Style” Fashion Event” is part of the Jamaica Center BID’s ongoing effort to promote Downtown Jamaica as a fashion, arts, cultural and shopping destination. In its seventh year, Jamaica “Just My Style” Fashion Event” will bring over 400 influencers and the community together to experience the positive and rich culture of Downtown Jamaica…..RSVP NOW HERE!
#JJMS Local Participating Retailers:
The event will be held at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC) located at 153-10 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica, NY 11432.
Jamaica Performing Arts Center
153-10 Jamaica Avenue
Jamaica, NY 11432
Save-the-Date: Wednesday, July 11th 10am to 12noon – Foreclosure Prevention Workshop, at the Harvest Room, located at 90-04 160th Street, Jamaica, NY 11432the
The Jamaica NOW Leadership Council and Neighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica invite the community to come on out and learn about: NHSJ Services, What is Foreclosure; What are Retention Options; What are Liquidation Options; Foreclosure Court; The Foreclosure Process Timeline; Tenants Occupancy Rights in a Foreclosed Home.
90-04 160th Street
Jamaica, NY 11432