New York City: Six Months To Get A Sign Approved

Execessive government regulation is responsible for New York City's lingering economic problems, writes the Economist. Mayor Bloomberg responds.
September 18, 2003, 5am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"The steady stream of people leaving Manhattan for other bits of America jumped last year to nearly 30,000... In the end, most of the city's economic problems come back to one thing: government. New York has become a painfully difficult place to do business. For instance, Borders, a bookstore chain that lost an outlet at the World Trade Centre, recently opened on Wall Street to acclaim from every politician in the city. It had taken the store six months and the hiring of specially licensed architects, lawyers and "expeditors" to get its sign approved, a process that elsewhere takes a day. That is New York's burden on business, writ small." Bloomberg's follow-on response, which appeared 9/16 in the New York Sun: "We are not going to walk away from protecting the public just to make it easier to go and open a store. There's a balance and we're going to achieve that balance. We're going to make sure that companies come here.… Let me also point out to you that the store that has a problem in opening here can't open anyplace else because the market that they need is right here. This is the Big Apple, and this is where you can sell goods and services for people that appreciate quality and are willing to pay for it."

Thanks to APA Metro Listserv - Thanks To Dawn Fox

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Published on Thursday, September 11, 2003 in The Economist
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