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March 15th, 2021

Kathryn Garcia and Andrew Yang Commit to Sponsor NYC App Challenge to Implement Garcia’s Plan for a Single Small Business City Permit

**RELEASE** March 15th, 2021

Contact: press@yangforny.com

New York, NYToday, Democratic candidates for Mayor of NYC Andrew Yang and Kathryn Garcia announced they were jointly committing to cut red tape and eliminate bureaucracy for small businesses to reopen in New York City. The candidates made the joint announcement outside of Silicon Harlem, a social venture designed to transform Harlem into a technology and innovation hub, and were joined by Silicon Harlem CEO and co-founder Clayton Banks, as well as Julie Samuels, Founder and Executive Director of tech nonprofit Tech:NYC.

The candidates will bring together tech stakeholders to design and build an app for Garcia’s single City Permit for small business to reopen. As part of this commitment, Andrew Yang endorsed Garcia’s plan to create one universal City permit for small businesses that is accessible by smartphone, instead of having to navigate dozens of City agencies.   In June 2021 – no matter which candidate receives the Democratic nomination – Andrew Yang and Kathryn Garcia will convene a panel of business owners for feedback on what challenges they experience in the permitting process. Based on that input, the City will launch the “NYC app challenge” to solicit solutions that will update and streamline all major City services into a one-stop-shop NYC Business portal.    Both campaigns are committed to equitable development of the tech industry in NYC. The app challenge will reflect that commitment, prioritizing developers with meaningful employment of female, BIPOC, AAPI, and Hispanic engineers and designers. The updated portal will ensure that any new or returning business will receive a response within one month of submitting an application and allow applicants to see real time status and feedback as their materials are reviewed.    Said Kathryn Garcia, “Today, to open a restaurant in New York you need to get permits, file applications, undergo reviews, get inspections and receive licenses from up to 8 different agencies before you can sell a bowl of soup. That’s why last month I promised to create a single small business City Permit so that businesses can fill out just one simple, streamlined permit that you can fill out on a smartphone to get up and running. Andrew Yang’s experience in the private sector makes him a great partner to recruit the tech talent we will need to make this plan a reality.” Said Andrew Yang, “Anyone who has ever had the passion to build a small business in New York City knows how hard it is just to get started. It’s hard enough pulling the necessary resources together without arcane government processes standing in the way, stifling the energy and creativity you need to make your business thrive. Having the City coordinate on the backend with its agencies so that businesses don’t have to interact with multiple agencies, immediately flagging an issue with an application and allowing a business to respond and update in real time will speed up the process on both ends. I am proud to support Kathryn’s proposal to end this madness and I look forward to working with her to create a single City permit which will help boost our economy by allowing small business owners to navigate the City bureaucracy and encourage entrepreneurs to invest in NYC.” Said Clayton Banks, CEO and co-founder of Silicon Harlem, “We all thrive when we harness the untapped intellectual and economic potential of aspiring small business owners in underrepresented groups and communities. Accelerating the small business permit process is just one way to demonstrate that technology can and should enable and uplift every community. This civic challenge can unleash and showcase the creativity and innovation of a wide range of New Yorkers.” Said Tech:NYC Founder and Executive Director Julie Samuels, “For New York City to fully recover from the pandemic, our small businesses must be given every opportunity to succeed, and this plan shows how the tech community can help. It is in large part because of the small businesses here — and what they contribute to the vibrancy, culture, and quality of life of the city — that so many tech workers and entrepreneurs have decided to call New York home. This plan would remove roadblocks that have unnecessarily hurt small businesses for too long, and I commend these candidates for seeking to take advantage of New York’s dynamic tech sector to create a better system that will benefit all of us.” Said Dale Cole, Founder of Daps Eats, "I know personally the challenges of opening a small business. Small businesses are not just about the profits, it's about the community. Daps Eats has been able to give back to Harlem during a pandemic by providing affordable, high-quality meals and our ‘Sweet & Savory’ jerk chicken which we are known for. To get New York back on its feet we need innovative thinking and support from our city government to make opening a business as easy as possible. Kathryn Garcia's single city permit will open up opportunities and have a huge impact on communities by ensuring people can get up and running quickly. When our small businesses flourish, we all thrive."    The app challenge will take place in 2022.

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