A popular New York City restaurant shut down January 3 after 25 years in business because of what its owners say are “punishing rules and regulations” put into place by New York City government regulations, the New York Daily News reports.
“The climate for small businesses like ours in New York have become such that it’s difficult to justify taking risks and running — nevermind starting — a legitimate mom-and-pop business,” read a letter posted by the owners in the restaurant’s front door.
“The state and municipal governments, with their punishing rules and regulations, seems to believe that we should be their cash machine to pay for all that ails us in society.”
Albert Wu, whose parents, Dorothea and Felix, owned the eatery since 1991, said the city’s endless amount of paperwork and regulations took its toll on the restaurant for years and eventually led to its closure.
“When we started out in 1991, the lunch special was $4 a plate,” he recalled. “Now it’s $10, $12. The cost of doing business is just too onerous.”
Wu said regulations like providing an onsite break room, despite limited space, minimum wage increases, health insurance, insurance, and health department rules added to the copious amounts of paperwork.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration says the city provides help to small businesses through their “Small Business First” initiative to reduce the amount of paperwork.
“The NYC Department of Small Business Services makes it easier for businesses to start, operate, and grow, including by helping businesses navigate important City regulations,” said spokesman Nick Benson.
But Adele Malpass, Manhattan Republican Party chairwoman, said issues like what the Wu family experienced are fairly commonplace.
“For smaller businesses like China Fun, each little thing that occurs makes it harder,” said Malpass. “Each regulation, each tax — you put it all together and it’s just a hostile business environment.”