County Cashes Checks, then Makes Applicants Wait Over a Year, Causing Hundreds of thousands in Lost Revenue
Mineola, NY – Nassau County’s Legislative Majority was joined today by angry and frustrated local business owners and contractors that have been waiting as much as a year or more for licenses they applied and paid for and have still not received. A video of the press conference can be found HERE
The county, in all of these cases presented during a press conference, cashed the check required to file the application as part of the application process, and have not granted the licenses, instead offering a multitude of excuses for the delays. This has led to hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost income for numerous applicants.
At budget hearings last week, Gregory May, commissioner of the Nassau County Department of Consumer Affairs confirmed that there is currently a backlog of 800 new applications, and over 5,000 license renewal applications waiting to be processed.
“At a time when small business owners and contractors are struggling to recover from the pandemic, it’s inconceivable that this administration has allowed this to happen, said Legislator Steve Rhoads. “Today I am proud to stand with these businesses and call on the County Executive to immediately resolve this matter so these individuals can try to keep their businesses alive and take care of their families.”
Thousands of businesses require special licenses in order to operate in Nassau County. Those providing home services, dry cleaners, and home improvement contractors are just a few examples of the types of businesses requiring a license.
One such contractor, Jim Manitaras a 30-year resident of Nassau County and the owner of Creative Home Construction shared his experience of dealing with Nassau’s Consumer Affairs Office.
“I paid my fee in January and have been patiently waiting for more than nine months for my license. Meanwhile, I was able to get the license I applied for in Suffolk County in about a week. During that time, I’ve lost out on over $50,000 in income from jobs I could have completed in Nassau and am at the point where I could lose my house.” Manitaras explained. “Nassau County has failed me and it’s clear this department is malfunctioning.”
Another contractor, Tony Chan, president of Phicon, based in Flushing shared a similar frustration of waiting for a license he applied for.
“I’ve spent 10 years building my business with a clean record and thanks to referrals from my customers had the opportunity to expand into Nassau County, but I can’t get the license I need due to my application waiting to be processed for months on end,” Chan said. I keep telling people I can’t start their work without the proper license, which leaves both sides frustrated, and it’s also affecting my ability to hire workers, so they are being hurt as well.”
According to Chan, he estimates losing out on over $400,000 in revenue from the delays he’s experienced. He also indicated he wanted to speak out to help other contractors he has spoken with who have faced the same issue in getting licensed in Nassau County.
“Having to wait for over a year to receive the necessary license that has already been paid for is a disgrace, particularly during these trying times,” said Legislator Laura Schaefer. This troubling situation is threatening the livelihood for these hard-working individuals and the potential lost income may never be recovered. Both the new applications and renewals backlogs must be addressed by the administration without any more excuses.”