NFIB: New York City’s Soda Ban Infringes on Small Business and Consumer Rights

Date: April 25, 2013
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kelly Hoffman 202-314-2054 or [email protected]

NFIB joins suit challenging arbitrary and unpopular law
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Washington, D.C., April 25, 2013 – Today the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Legal Center filed an amicus brief defending the right of small businesses to meet consumer demands by joining with other industry groups in challenging New York City’s proposed ban on large sugary drinks. Karen Harned, executive director of the Small Business Legal Center, issued the following statement regarding the legal action.

“NFIB has filed an amicus brief to protect the right of small business owners to freely provide goods and services without the government infringing upon their economic liberties. We believe that Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed law is overreaching, unfair to small business owners and ignores the individual rights of consumers to make their own choices.

NFIB’s brief argues that small business owners have a right to make an honest living by providing consumers with products and services that they desire, and that consumers should be allowed to make their own lifestyle choices with the products they consume. By joining this lawsuit, NFIB will continue to ensure that the voice of small business is heard.”

In September 2012, New York City’s Board of Health approved Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to restrict restaurants, movie theaters and other food-service businesses from selling sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. Groups representing beverage makers, restaurants and other pro-business organizations immediately filed a petition, and successfully challenged the law in state court. However, the case is now up for appeal.

The new lawsuit challenges the law on two grounds: that the New York Board of Health lacks the power to impose a soda ban; the law is arbitrary because it is riddled with exemptions that favor big businesses and disadvantage small businesses.

Karen Harned, Executive Director of the Small Business Legal Center is available for comment.


The NFIB Small Business Legal Center  is a 501(c)(3) organization created to protect the rights of America’s small business owners by providing advisory material on legal issues and by ensuring that the voice of small business is heard in the nation’s courts. The National Federation of Independent Business is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals.

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