Greater New York Chamber of Commerce 212-CHAMBER

Spotlight Event - September 24, 2024

Greater New York Chamber Annual Business Expo, Tuesday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Marriott Marquis Times Square


Gov. Hochul Signs New Laws for More Protection Against Retail Theft

Greater NY Chamber President Mark Jaffe joined Governor Kathy Hochul and a coalition of frontline retail workers and small business owners to celebrate new protections against organized retail theft that were signed into law on May 1st at NY Law School. The five-point plan:

·        Increases criminal penalties for anyone who assaults a retail worker by elevating it from a misdemeanor to felony. Any person who causes physical injury to a retail worker performing their job will be subject to this new felony.

·        Allows prosecutors to combine the value of stolen goods when they file larceny charges. The Budget allows retail goods from different stores to be aggregated for the purposes of reaching a higher larceny threshold when stolen under the same criminal scheme.

·        Makes it illegal to foster the sale of stolen goods to go after third-party sellers. A person will be found guilty if they use any website or physical location to sell stolen goods.

·        Includes $40.2 million for dedicated Retail Theft Teams within State Police, District Attorneys’ offices and local law enforcement, including 100 NYS Police personnel dedicated to fighting organized retail theft.

·        Establishes a $5 million tax credit to help small businesses invest in added security measures (such as cameras) to help alleviate the burden on small businesses for additional security measures.

Governor Hochul's focus on organized retail theft comes as crime data shows a significant spike in these crimes over the past six years. After our April 30th Quality of Life roundtable with NYPD’s Executive Officer of Crime Control Strategies Captain Lauren Foster & NYPD’s Commanding Officer of Midtown South Deputy Inspector Aaron Edwards; we learned that Larceny offenses in New York City have spiked by 51 percent between 2017 and 2023. Robberies, grand larceny and petit larceny in New York City are up by 86 percent during that same time period.


We have worked closely with Governor Hochul on this issue to help protect retail workers and our small business owners. No doubt our members appreciate Governor Hochul’s leadership to help punish repeat offenders & those who are jeopardizing NY’s quality of life. Upon signing the bill the Governor said “Here in New York, we are standing up to organized retail theft, backing our businesses and their workers with the full force of the law, and restoring that sense of security and peace of mind so they can focus on what they do best."

We couldn’t agree more. This legislation will help restore the safer communities that are so important to NY’s vibrancy. Small businesses and retailers have proven to be an essential component of the way we live and do business and they deserve all the support we can give them.