Brooklyn business owners: We're hurting

Small business owners in Brooklyn say soaring rents, health care costs and zoning restrictions are combining with the sagging economy to hurt their bottom line.The

BROOKLYN - Small business owners in Brooklyn say soaring rents, health care costs and zoning restrictions are combining with the sagging economy to hurt their bottom line.

The entrepreneurs voiced their concerns Tuesday at a special forum in Brooklyn with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

"We want to make sure in the City Council we really understand how this economic downturn is hurting our Main Street," Quinn says.

Mike DiMarino, the owner of the Linda Tool Metal Company in Red Hook, says he doesn't know if he'll be able to keep his 25 employees. DiMarino also says that after moving from Carroll Gardens to Red Hook several years ago, he worries gentrification will again force him to move his company.

Quinn says she wants to provide help quickly by working with Albany to provide small businesses with tax relief. She also hopes a $5 million initiative from the mayor and the City Council will help by working with banks to guarantee loans to small businesses.

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