'Big Soda Ban' Prompts Industry Advocates to Form NYAGS

New York Association of Grocery Stores intends "to stop the assault on retailers"

NEW YORK -- Brad Gerstman and David Schwartz have announced the formation of The New York Association of Grocery Stores (NYAGS) "to stop the assault against grocery stores as well as the foodservice industry all over New York by the mayor and other government officials," as well as "to educate the public as to the importance of brick and mortar grocery and convenience stores."

NYAGS intends to be the lead advocacy group in redefining how New York City treats retail establishments. It "will promote unity and financial stability" among small business throughout the city, they added.

"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 Schwartz. "NYAGS will vigorously protect business throughout New York from overreaching and unnecessary regulatory measures. NYAGS will help unite the fight against the recently announced 'Big Soda Ban' [see Related Content below for previous CSP Daily News coverage] by the NYC Board of Health," said Gerstman.

New York City business leader, philanthropist and owner of Gristedes supermarkets John Catsimatidis has pledged his support for NYAGS. "We need NYAGS at this moment in time in our history because brick and mortar convenience stores, grocery stores and supermarkets are being destroyed because of anti-business government policies that have strangled the retail industry," he said.

NYAGS has the support of the Bodega Association, the Latino Restaurant Association and the Korean American Small Business Center, the group that represents the city's 2,500 green grocers. "All of these groups understand that the supersizing ban is only the opening salvo, one that will lead to further restrictions on the rights of business and all New Yorkers if left unchallenged," the group said.

"The ban is not only counterproductive to the promotion of health, but it fails to consider other health initiatives from this administration such as the menu-labeling requirements. The impact of these regulations on the health of the city's food stores and restaurants has been extremely detrimental," said Ramon Murphy of the Bodega Association.

NYAGS is led by a team of experienced government relations and media consultants who for many years have fought on behalf of the city's small businesses. Brad Gerstman and David Schwartz are former prosecutors, private lawyers and advocates for businesses throughout the city and state of New York.