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


Dear NYC Council Member:

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. I am submitting this letter on behalf of NYAGS in opposition to Int. 0209-2014. The bill would require all retail and grocery stores to charge 5 cents per each plastic or paper bag used by a customer.

The promotion of reusable grocery bags is not only a tax that disproportionately impacts the poor, people of color, and seniors, but it also poses a health threat as e-coli bacteria contaminates the bags the shoppers store: “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. (

Furthermore, the goal of Int. 0209-2014 is to aid the environment by reducing pollution. At first, the proposed tax was 10 cents and now it is at 5 cents. However, there is no tax that makes sense to achieve this goal because plastic bags just aren’t the answer. In 2006, the California Coastal Commission claimed that plastic bags make up 3.8 percent of beach litter. However, the definitive American litter study reports MUCH lower figures. The 2009 Keep America Beautiful Survey, run by Steven Stein of Environmental Resources Planning, shows that all plastic bags, of which plastic bags are only a subset, are just 0.6% of visible litter nationwide. Meanwhile, the California data, which comes from the International Coastal Commission (ICC), is collected by volunteers on one day each year, and is not a scientific assessment.

In addition, the plastic bag experiments are failing in municipalities like Washington DC where the real evidence indicates that plastic bag use actually increased slightly after the bag tax was instituted. Furthermore, 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.

We are asking you to 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.

Thank you.





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