From the NY Post:
During a forum last week in Midtown, the Democrats' front-runner argued that chain stores are ruining the fabric of the city and suggested imposing restrictions to keep them from proliferating.
Thompson aides pointed to San Francisco -- which has some of the toughest zoning rules in the United States -- as a possible model.
Under San Francisco's "Formula Business Restrictions," which have been upheld in the courts, individual neighborhoods get a chance to veto the establishment of a chain shop.
Thompson didn't go quite that far.
But he did raise the idea of "retail retention zones" where large retailers would be blocked from renting space held by small mom-and-pop shops.
Thompson also called for taxpayer subsidies to hold down retail rents.
He pointed to a program begun in lower Manhattan after 9/11 that provided property-tax abatements of $2.50 per square foot and exemptions from the commercial-rent tax to businesses that relocated downtown.
That raises the question of whether the city -- facing a $5 billion deficit in fiscal 2011 -- can afford new tax breaks.
Sure we can. Take the tax breaks away from developers of luxury condos and give them to small businesses. Problem solved.