The New York Association of Grocery Stores, NYAGS is a coalition of local New York City grocers fighting to stay alive as special interests and big chains continue to encroach on the businesses our families have maintained for decades. We have formed NYAGS, New York Association of Grocery Stores in order to stop the assault against grocery stores as well as the food service industry all over New York by the Mayor and other government officials. NYAGS will play a substantial role in being the lead advocacy group in redefining how the city treats our retail establishments throughout NYC. NYAGS will promote unity and financial stability to small business throughout NYC.

“The city continues in its quest of becoming a nanny state in regulating every aspect of the lives of the citizens of New York City and in the process, crushing small business” said David Schwartz. “NYAGS will vigorously protect business throughout New York from over reaching and unnecessary regulatory measures. NYAGS will help unite the fight against the recently announced Big Soda Ban by the NYC Board of Health”, said Brad Gerstman.

As Wal-mart continues their push to enter the New York City market and liquor stores continue to block the entrance of wine into grocery stores, we’re fighting to stay in business during these tough economic times. With only 2000 liquor stores in New York State why do their businesses need to be protected while ours do not?

The initial issues to be taken on by NYAGS are:

  • Fight back against the ‘Nanny-State” and stop Mayor Bloomberg’s soda ban
  • Enable wine to be sold in Grocery stores
  • Pass legislation to preclude the unconstitutional ticketing of trucks delivering to grocery stores
  • Fight for the prospect that all tobacco products must be sold in brick and mortar NY stores and not Indian reservations, internet and black market.
  • Restore fairness in taxation of cigarettes, cigars, tobacco products and motor fuel
  • Fight against all legislation and regulation that mandates what your customers can and cannot eat
  • Any regulation of tobacco should be done by the FDA and not New York State
  • Fight the Wal-Mart entry into the NYC marketplace
  • Fight against tax credits which favor new supermarkets that enter the NYC market where the employees are non-union and put the existing stores at a disadvantage

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From the New York Post:

By Brad Gerstman

New York City’s do-gooders are at it again, this time looking to put a 10-cent fee on each plastic bag that stores normally provide to their customers without charge.

This isn’t just another burden on the city’s beleaguered small retailers, it’s also a terrible idea for public health.

When then-Mayor Mike Bloomberg pushed a similar proposal a few years back, it never even got a hearing. But the new bill already has 19 City Council members signed on as co-sponsors.

And Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris told WNYC radio this month that the fee is a direction the de Blasio administration is “very supportive of.”

I long ago lost count of how many regulations of the past decade have unintended, bad consequences that hit the city’s small retailers the hardest.

These beleaguered store owners already face an army of enforcement agents who treat them like a cash cow. The city’s bids to promote “the public good” never take into consideration the health of these stores or the neighborhood economies that they support.

Our local army of regulators belongs to what the author Saul Bellow called the Good Intentions Paving Co.

This company’s projects are always well-meant, but when they turn out to have undesired costs, tradeoffs and side-effects, the company leaders sincerely believe that none of the blame can possibly attach to them. After all, their intentions were good!

The irony here is that the bag fee poses a direct threat to New Yorkers’ health.

The point of the bag tax is to force consumers to substitute reusable bags for the no-longer-free plastic ones.

Problem is, reusable bags play a significant role in food contamination unless they’re properly washed on a regular basis — something people rarely do.

In a public-health study done at the University of Arizona, researchers found that only 3 percent of shoppers with multi-use bags said they regularly washed them. The same study found bacteria in 99 percent. Half carried coliform bacteria, and 8 percent carried E. coli — an indicator of fecal contamination.

“I classify them as pretty dirty things, like the bottom of your shoes,” said Ryan Sinclair of the Loma Linda University School of Public Health, a co-author of the study.

As the study showed, the reusable bags function as a Petri dish for all kinds of contaminants. Further, three-fourths of their users acknowledged that they don’t use separate bags for meats and for vegetables, and about a third said they used the bags for, well, all sorts of things (storing snacks, toting books).

A study by the Centers for Disease Control verified the dangers: “Reusable bags, if not properly washed between uses, create the potential for cross-contamination of foods.

“This potential exists when raw meat products and foods traditionally eaten uncooked (fruits and vegetables) are carried in the same bags, either together or between uses. This risk can be increased by the growth of bacteria in the bags.”

What about the environmental benefit? At best, it’s smaller than the do-gooders imagine.

It takes less energy to make plastic bags than the canvas ones that the “reusers” usually push — and, in fact, consumers find multiple post-store uses for the plastic, from in-home trash bags to padding in a storage box.

Yes, most wind up in the garbage eventually — but before we restrict them, let’s figure out ways to make plastic-bag recycling more efficient — something that the Department of Sanitation has failed to do.

Polls throughout the country find that people overwhelmingly reject bans and regressive taxes. Imagine the results if people knew more about the health threat posed by reusable bags.

Let’s shelve the bag fee and search for better ways to aid the environment that don’t burden our small businesses and threaten our citizens’ health.

Brad Gerstman is a lawyer, lobbyist and co-founder of the New York Association of Grocery Stores.

Read more from the New York Post:

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De Blasio administration ‘looking very closely’ at enacting a fee on plastic bags

From New York Daily News: Mayor de Blasio’s administration is ‘looking very closely’ at a proposal to add fees to plastic shopping bags. The de Blasio administration is “looking very closely” at a proposal to slap fees on plastic shopping bags, a top city official said Friday. First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris has been conferring […]

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City Loses Final Appeal on Limiting Sales of Large Sodas

We applaud the NYS court of appeals for ruling in favor of common sense. Our freedom in America should override any attempt by an elected official to control the behavior of the masses. This unfair regulation should never have been enacted and thankfully the Courts of NYS have consistently agreed.

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NYAGS Announces Support for the NYC Save Our Stores Coalition

COMMUNITY MEETING ON JUNE 5th at 555 WEST 157th STREET @ 7pm The New York Association of Grocery Stores (NYAGS) is a coalition of local New York City grocers fighting to stay alive as special interest and big chains continue to encroach on the businesses our families have maintained for decades. Today, NYAGS announces its […]

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NYS Loses $2 Billion Per Year from Sale of Illegal Bootlegged Cigarettes

David Schwartz, Esq. appears on WFAN radio with Bob Salter on sports radio 660 AM (101.9FM), educating New Yorkers that the people of this state are losing over 2 Billion Dollars due to untaxed, illegal, and bootlegged cigarettes flooding the market. Cigarettes are the hottest commodity used by criminal enterprises in order to raise Billions for their criminal activities

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