• Mateo the Mayor Staff





Bronx, NY, April 8, 2021 – New York City Mayoral Candidate Fernando Mateo participated in the NYC Hospitality Alliance forum for Republican Mayoral candidates. The ZOOM event titled, “NYC Mayoral Candidate Forum: Restaurant & Nightlife Edition (Part 3)” was hosted by Hospitality Alliance Executive Director Andrew Rigie and featured questions from restaurant owners from all 5 Boroughs including but not limited to the famed Melba’s in Harlem, Peter Lugers in Brooklyn, as well as The Richmond and The Belvedere Club in Staten Island and more.

The Hospitality Alliance raised serious concerns about what the next Mayor of New York City will do to help bring New York’s economy back to life. They outlined that COVID-19 has caused more than 50 percent of restaurant/bar/hotel establishments to lose more then 90 percent of their weekly sales. One restaurant owner said that they cannot afford to pay their rent and are worried about their employees losing their jobs and the prospect of losing their investment due to eviction. They noted that government mandated shutdowns that caused tremendous harm to New York’s economy.

Mateo pledged to stand firm to cut red tape and create tax cuts so small businesses can flourish. He provided an action plan to protect jobs, restore tourism, and help small business owners thrive in a post-COVID era. He said, “As Mayor, I will do everything in my power to keep restaurants, bars, hotels open for business by providing:

1. rent relief,

2. tax debt relief,

3. payroll assistance,

4. protection from evictions,

5. reduced assessments, and

6. a robust vaccine and COVID testing strategy to support a legal fight against closures and shutdowns by detached bureaucrats.”

In reply to a question of City inspectors abusing their power to violate and shut down establishments unnecessarily, he shared his vision to make City Agencies work for the people and protect businesses. To transform the Department of Buildings, Mateo stated “With Mateo as Mayor, I will reduce the permit approval process down from years to days.” He said, “By voting Mateo for Mayor, we can create jobs and generate revenue by introducing best management practices that include:

1. “Self-Certification” programs

2. “On Demand” Inspection Services

3. “Rapid Response Teams” comprising of Buildings, Fire, Health, Law, and more.

4. Building Inspectors will have to wear body cameras like the Police.

5. Building Inspectors will be rated similar to how the NYC Health Department issues “Letter Grades” to NYC restaurants.

6. Extended office hours to troubleshoot issues more conveniently.

7. Limit the use of “Business Shut-Downs” for violations by tasking retired Inspectors and other professionals to assist the business in staying open while professionals craft solutions to resolve non-life-threatening issues.

The above practices will create a new opportunity for the DOB (and other agencies) to focus on other priorities while enabling safe and continuous construction work to create jobs and generate revenue to fix New York City.

“This is accountability! This is transparency! This is the way we get New York City back to work,” said Mateo.

A restaurant owner from the Rockaways asked what the City could do to help restaurants recover from COVID. Mateo said, “As Mayor, I would like to give school parents more choice when it comes to food options for their children. I would draw a radius around each school and allow the parent to pick which participating restaurant they want healthy, tasty lunch meals from for their child. This would boost the local economy and empower education.”

Mateo declared that New York must reclaim its title as the “Culinary Capital” of the world. As Mayor he would make the Big Apple safe again by making a strong, no-nonsense NYPD that respects people and commands respect. He made it clear that he would bolster Sanitation operations with better equipment and launch a “Rat Eradication” initiative to clean up the City.

To bring back night life, Mateo said he would replicate successful policies from around the country, particularly Miami, where the City offers additional protection for bars and clubs by allowing businesses to pay the Police Department’s cost for extra manpower at nighttime. One forum participant said, “The Hospitality Alliance has been asking for this for years! We would love to invest in more safety for our patrons and the Police would enjoy the overtime work.”

Mateo committed to establish a series of commissions and advisory boards to keep the Hospitality industry at the table while serving as Mayor. He noted that an open line of “actionable communications” is essential between business and government. He would host frequent meetings to discuss important matters directly with Hospitality stakeholders, Community Board members, the Mayor, and agency leaders to facilitate progress and economic growth.


The other two opponents had no real answers other than copying Mateo’s substantive solutions to revive New York City.

The Hospitality Alliance anticipates releasing the full video of the forum in the near future.