Legislation and Executive Order Establish moves Office of Nightlife under Department of Small Business Services to better connect nightlife establishments to business resources
New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced the appointment of hospitality industry veteran Jeffrey Garcia to lead the Office of Nightlife (ONL) in its new home at the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS). Joined by SBS Commissioner Kevin D. Kim and business leaders, Mayor Adams also announced actions to support small businesses through his “Small Business Forward” initiative, better connect nightlife establishments to SBS resources, and reduce financial burdens on local businesses.
These steps come as part of Mayor Adams’ “Working People’s Tour,” continuing to create jobs and power New York City’s economic recovery after the city set a recovered all of the nearly 1 million jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finally, Mayor Adams signed three pieces of legislation — Intro 687-A, Intro. 845-A, and Intro. 1083-A that implement dozens of regulatory reforms to help New York City’s small businesses, move ONL under SBS, and provide New Yorkers with more information to make healthy food choices.
“From the dance venues of Brooklyn to the Latin clubs of Queens and everything in between, nightlife has always been part of what makes New York City so vibrant and unique. Today, we are taking steps not only to bolster the businesses that make nightlife special, but also to usher in a new chapter in our efforts to support the industry,” said Mayor Adams. “By transferring the Office of Nightlife to SBS and cutting red tape for the nightlife industry, this legislation will make sure that nightlife establishments get the resources they need to thrive and help our economy grow to new heights. With the appointment of Jeffrey Garcia — an experienced entrepreneur and hospitality veteran who has long advocated for minority-owned businesses — we are also ensuring that the Office of Nightlife has the strong leadership needed to uplift nightlife businesses across the city.”
“This administration is focused on making it easier for this city’s small businesses to grow and thrive, and the bills passed today exemplify that. With the passage of Intro. 845, we have now cleared the path for over 100 reforms to be implemented that will reduce fines and fees for this city’s small business community, saving them millions of dollars a year. And with the move of the Office of Nightlife to SBS under Jeffrey Garcia’s leadership, the city’s nightlife community will have a fierce advocate in their corner and access to more resources than ever before,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria-Torres Springer. “Thank you to the Council for the partnership, and congratulations to Executive Director Jeffrey Garcia. I am confident that under his leadership ONL will flourish in its mission of elevating the city’s nightlife and businesses in every neighborhood across the entire city at a critical time for the industry.”
“New York’s 25,000 nightlife and hospitality establishments are more than just engines of economic growth — they are part of the fabric that makes up the city,” said SBS Commissioner Kim. “At SBS, ONL will be able to help bars and restaurants across New York City grow and expand while also fostering positive relationships in their respective communities. All of us at SBS are excited to work with Executive Director Jeffrey Garcia and his team in our shared mission of lifting up New Yorkers and building the ‘City of Yes’ for small business.”
“As the son of a single mom from the Dominican Republic, born and raised in Washington Heights, I am grateful to Mayor Adams and Commissioner Kim for entrusting me with this opportunity to serve my city as executive director of ONL. This is my dream job,” said ONL Executive Director Garcia. “My family knew struggle, but we had a strong foundation of hard work and service, which I brought with me as I rose through the ranks at the NYPD, opened my own hospitality businesses, and went on to elevate minority-owned bars and restaurants across New York as an advocacy leader. I am looking forward to this transition to SBS, as ONL grows to provide more resources to support the nightlife industry across New York City.”
“Today signifies a major milestone as we advance two bills with a clear mission: cutting red tape and streamlining regulations for small businesses through codifying portions of the mayor’s ‘Small Business Forward’ executive order and providing crucial assistance to our nightlife establishments,” said New York City Councilmember Julie Menin, chair, Committee on Small Business. “As the former MOME commissioner who created the Office of Nightlife, I believe it is a logical shift of the Office of Nightlife to the Department of Small Business Services for enhanced small business support. Thank you, Mayor Adams, for signing my bills into law.”
Intro. 687-A — sponsored by New York City Councilmember Keith Powers — requires chain restaurants with 15 or more locations to prominently post added sugars to menus, allowing New Yorkers to make informed decisions about their health. The new law builds on the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy’s work to increase food security; promote access to and consumption of healthy foods; and support economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and equity in the food system.
Intro. 845-A — sponsored by New York City Councilmember Menin — implements more than 30 regulatory reforms that stem from Mayor Adams’ Executive Order 2 “Small Business Forward” initiative, which required city agencies to review existing business regulations and ensure local businesses face fewer fines and penalties without jeopardizing public health or safety. These reforms were identified by Mayor Adams, Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer, and SBS Commissioner Kim to save small businesses time and money when navigating city regulations.
Intro. 1083-A — also sponsored by New York City Councilmember Menin — and Executive Order 37 will integrate ONL under SBS. ONL’s move to SBS will help broaden the office’s reach and deepen its impact on New York City nightlife businesses, while doubling down on promoting public safety and addressing quality-of-life concerns. The move will also foster a strong industry partnership between nightlife and city government, ensuring that more nightlife businesses directly benefit from SBS services, such as connections to affordable financing, free legal assistance, a pipeline of qualified New Yorkers looking for work, and the NYC Business Express Service Team program, which helps businesses expedite permits and licenses, accelerating the process of opening a business, and more.
Small business creation has boomed since Mayor Adams took office, with approximately one in seven businesses in New York City launched since January 2022. In that time, the Adams administration has delivered on the promise of Small Business Forward, developed the MyCity Business site, created the historic NYC Small Business Opportunity Fund, and undertaken additional efforts to save small businesses millions of dollars in avoided violations, fines, and fees. In addition to dozens of reforms implemented over the last year through agency rulemaking and policy changes, the full savings to small businesses is estimated at close to $8.9 million annually.
Jeffrey Garcia has been an entrepreneur and business owner in Washington Heights and Kingsbridge for decades. A retired New York City Police Department (NYPD) first grade detective of the Organized Crime Control Bureau, Garcia previously served as president of the New York State Latino Restaurant, Bar, and Lounge Association, working to bring equity and inclusion to the industry and working through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also served on the New York City Small Business Advisory Council. As an accomplished entrepreneur, Garcia has additionally served as a board member at the New York City Hospitality Alliance and helped found the Latino Cannabis Association.