Newsstand owners may be able to offer a wider range of items including phone charges, umbrellas, earphones and camera battiers, thanks to new legislation announced Monday by City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn.
“This legislation will allow New York City’s iconic newsstands to sell more products, thereby expanding consumers’ access to more of the products they want and need,” said Speaker Quinn. “We need to keep up with the times and help ensure these small business owners can continue to compete and succeed in our city.”
Owners were prevented from expanding their product lines but a city-mandated maximum price of $5, passed in 2001. With many everyday items now priced higher than $5, it made sense to raise that limit to $10, according to Quinn.
“Newsstands are an integral part of our great city,” said Council Member Karen Koslowitz.”By increasing prices of goods that are allowed to be sold, it has now become more convenient for New Yorkers as well as newsstand owners who are open for business 365 days a year.”
According to the NYC Newsstand Operators Association, there were once 1,500 newsstands operating in the city — a number that has fallen to 300.
“Over 11 years ago, in his very first bill signing as Mayor, Mike Bloomberg gave sidewalk newsstands a raise,” said Counsel to the NYC Newsstand Operators Association Robert Bookman. “Well after 11 years, we need another one. With the support of Speaker Quinn and the Council leadership, this bill will help keep these iconic New York street institutions in business and help the moms and pops that run them make a decent living.”