The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) protects and enhances the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities. DCA licenses more than 81,000 businesses in more than 50 industries and enforces key consumer protection, licensing, and workplace laws that apply to countless more. By supporting businesses through equitable enforcement and access to resources and, by helping to resolve complaints, DCA protects the marketplace from predatory practices and strives to create a culture of compliance. Through its community outreach and the work of its offices of Financial Empowerment and Labor Policy & Standards, DCA empowers consumers and working families by providing the tools and resources they need to be educated consumers and to achieve financial health and work-life balance. DCA also conducts research and advocates for public policy that furthers its work to support New York City’s communities.
DCA was created on April 29, 1969 when City Council passed the landmark Consumer Protection Law that gave the agency its broad authority to protect the public from deceptive business practices, making it the first municipal agency of its kind in the country. It was at this time that the City’s Department of Markets, which included the City’s Weights and Measures division, merged with the Department of Licensing to form one unified Department of Consumer Affairs. In 2006, DCA again evolved with the changing marketplace with the creation of its Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE), the first local government initiative in the nation aimed expressly at educating, empowering and protecting those with low incomes. DCA’s OFE has emerged as a national leader in the field of municipal financial empowerment and model of local government offering residents consumer protection and financial empowerment has been looked to by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for national replication. Now, with its expanded mission, DCA looks to pioneer the way that city government can protect and enhance the lives of all of players in the marketplace, including consumers, business and workers, and how that work ultimately fosters stronger, more sustainable, and thriving communities.
Read 9/15/16 press release of DCA announcing its new, expanded mission.