New York City Council Member Robert Jackson and the Restaurant Action Alliance NYC hosted a Neighborhood Impact Tour in Harlem to discuss the effects of Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed ban on the use of foam foodservice products.
The Restaurant Action Alliance NYC is a coalition of concerned business owners, who have come together to stop unfair regulations that target small restaurants and push for smart alternatives that help New York City’s economy grow. To date, more than 2,000 neighborhood restaurants have joined the coalition.
The tour, led by local restaurant owner Gustavo Bescone, of Caridad Restaurant, made stops at four local restaurants, including Bus Stop Restaurant, Mofongo Del Valle, Best Angels Coffee Shop and Mi Casita Restaurant, and highlighted the negative effects the ban will have on local businesses.
Local business owners demonstrated the significantly higher costs of purchasing foam alternatives to use as foodservice containers, which would contribute to the already small margins of running a small restaurant in New York City.
“Seventy-five percent of our food goes into foam containers,” said Bus Stop Restaurant owner Denis Linardaxuji. All of the business owners expressed their concern that another regulation, especially a ban, could have a significant impact on their business.
“Anything that’s going to impact our small businesses merits careful consideration. The polystyrene ban is no exception. There are other alternatives to protecting the environment without hurting small businesses. It’s time to stop picking on the small guy in the room and instead, come up with solutions that we can all buy into,” said Council Member Jackson.