Mayor sees gov't role in gentrification struggle

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THE BRONX -

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that he aims to "have the government right in the middle of the equation" to battle gentrification and boost small businesses in an interview with News 12 atop the Bronx County Courthouse.

"Yeah, there's going to be development," de Blasio said. "If we don't intervene, if we don't do something to shake that development, it will happen anyway -- and in some cases it will raise the rent without giving something back to people."

De Blasio and a number of high-ranking city officials have been in the borough all week as part of the City Hall in Your Borough tour, an outreach effort aimed at improving New Yorkers' quality of life.

The mayor also said he wanted to improve the city's subway system and battle potholes.

He also touted some goals he's already accomplished, like securing more transportation help from the state and decreasing fines on small businesses. He also said the city is increasing its number of contracts for minorities and women, making it easier for them to open businesses and cutting through red tape to help keep small businesses afloat.

"It's million and millions of dollars back in the hands of small business owners," de Blasio said. "That's been something that's really recognized and felt by small business owners, including on Arthur Avenue." 

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