Fines given to small businesses for first-time violations may be a big headache for owners, but they're also a big money maker for the city.
The Public Advocate's Office will release its "Red Tape Report" on Tuesday outlining how businesses are getting financially squeezed for easily correctable violations, such as printing errors on receipts or insufficient signage.
Meanwhile, the city's Department of Consumer Affairs expects to earn more than $10 million in revenue from fines in fiscal year 2012, up from $6.8 million in 2009, according to the report.
"They're just trying to kill my business. I'm pretty upset," said Tony Juliano, co-founder of XES Lounge in Chelsea. The bar was recently hit with a $500 fine for lacking certain smoking-related signage that Juliano said he didn't know was required.
He said he's previously permitted smoking throughout his backyard patio, but was also fined after inspectors considered the area the same as a sidewalk cafe -- even though the bar doesn't serve food.
(Water, however, is still considered "food" by the city.)