Some Bushwick, Brooklyn, merchants said some suppliers were price-gouging during the coronavirus epidemic.
Rick Echevarría’s investigation into price-gouging in Bushwick came as the City announced a crackdown on businesses that price-gouge.
Rick Echevarría visited dozens of Brooklyn stores in recent days, asking owners to sign a pledge promising they wouldn’t price-gouge during the coronavirus pandemic. Whilst making the rounds, Echevarría kept hearing similar stories : Suppliers had jacked-up their prices on cleaning supplies being used to disinfect for the coronavirus —- and shop owners were refusing to buy the supplies at the higher prices.
Prices on 19 oz. spray canisters of Lysol disinfectant were raised by as much as 42%, and prices on 16 oz. bottles of Clorox bleach increased by as much as 45%. As a result, shelves have gone bare, and customers have left stores empty-handed as many people across the boroughs scrambled to buy essentials to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Echevarría, a candidate for City Council’s District 37 seat, which covers parts of north Brooklyn, including Bushwick, spent several days with a gouge watch crew meeting with local stores.
The findings of his campaign were the subject of an article published by The City. For that report, Echevarría said, “We can’t have the owners feeling like they can’t afford to restock.”
To report price-gouging, you can file an online complaint with the New York State Attorney General’s Office.