NY Small Biz to Bloomberg: Trim Fatty Govt and Leave Us Alone

Albany (May 31, 2012) – New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg should stop fussing over whether adults are making healthy personal choices and worry more about whether high taxes, suffocating regulations and now a ban on sugary drinks are taking the economic appeal and the fun out of the Big Apple, said the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) today.

“Enough is enough,” said Mike Durant, NFIB State Director. “He’s governing the city like a medieval king, claiming authority over personal choices and private activities in which the Mayor has no business interfering.”

Bloomberg this week announced a ban on large sugary drinks, which he identified as a culprit in America’s obesity epidemic. In January he tried to limit alcohol sales because he determined that New Yorkers were drinking too much. Before that he outlawed smoking in public and the use of trans-fats by restaurants.

“The Mayor is using public health to rationalize a ban on all the things that are out of fashion with the moralizing busybodies in politics and the media,” said Durant. “One day he’ll turn his attention to their lifestyles and habits and they won’t be cheering so loudly.”

Durant said that small retailers and restaurants are hurt by all of the Bloomberg bans because they snuff out the sales that keep them afloat.

“There are a lot of small businesses in New York City for which soft drink sales account for a considerable percentage of their revenue,” said Durant. “They can try to make it up with another product, but there’s no way to know whether Mayor Bloomberg will ban that next.”

Bloomberg’s bans, said Durant, are not only costly for small businesses and inconvenient for their customers, but they make the business climate in New York unpredictable.

“Every time the Mayor unilaterally bans a legal product that people want, he validates the city’s image as a place that is hostile to free enterprise,” said Durant. “It drives up prices. It creates an inconvenience for consumers, it scares away businesses and it insults New Yorkers who are perfectly able to live their lives unsupervised by Mayor Bloomberg.”

For more information about NFIB, please visit www.nfib.com/new_york.

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About Mike Durant

Mike Durant was named New York State Director of NFIB in May 2011. Prior to joining NFIB as the Assistant State Director in May 2010, Durant began his career in the New York Senate working in the Office of Member Services. From there, he served in a number of positions during former New York Governor George E. Pataki’s administration. As a Research Specialist in the New York State Office of Demographic Policy, Mike was responsible for drafting a redistricting proposal for Governor Pataki. In addition, Mike served as a Research Specialist for the Empire State Development Corporation, as well as the Associate Commissioner of Human Resource Management with the New York Department of Labor. Durant also spent four years working at the Questar III BOCES as a specialist focusing on the complex formulas that drive aid to school districts across the state while also taking a lead role in the state legislative/budget process as it related to education policy. These past positions have given Mike a deep understanding of the complex political economics of the State of New York. Active in the community, Durant has served on a number of boards in both the village of Ballston Spa and Town of Milton. Durant received his bachelor’s degree from Siena College in Loudonville, New York and resides in Ballston Spa with his wife and two children.
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