Here's a letter to the editor penned by Sue Jeffers, owner of Stub and Herb's
in SE Mpls.
Here is my letter to the editor, doubt it will see the light of day...post it
with your excellent one on the forum!
Some call it spin, I call it just another lie to deceive the general public.
Smoking bans damage the hospitality industry especially bars, bans cause lost
revenues, lost jobs and closed businesses. Worse yet, no one is any healthier
including our cities, county and state coffers.
It is easy to distort the numbers. By including liquor store sales, the liquor
sales become inflated. By including fast food, coffee shops and convenience
stores the food sales become inflated. Omitting businesses that have already
closed or were not open 3 consecutive years, distort the numbers further,
implying a healthy hospitality industry.
The first three months of the smoking ban showed alcohol revenues in Hennepin
County grew .15%, much lower than prevous year and much lower than all other
counties in the entire 7 county metro area. These numbers also included liquor
stores, if those sales were removed, the revenues would show a loss. We should
be showing double digit increases similar to other areas with out a smoking ban
not the list of over 50 closed businesses that keeps growing longer and longer.
Now add .08, a minimum wage increase and cold weather the numbers will be even
more depressed causing more closed businesses and more lost jobs.
The latest new study shows heart attacks rates have remained the same or
increased across the country after bans were implemented and in the case of MA
heart attacks increased 35%. Most people know the days of the smoke filled
"blue bars" are long gone. Owners have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars
on ventilation to make all our customers comfortable and it works, just ask the
airports or the hospitals.
Shame on the elected officials trying to gain a state wide ban on the backs of
the local businesses. Elected officials have forgotten property rights should
trump entitlement rights every time. Maybe like NW Airlines or Ford, bars can
become a "tax free zone" or get state or local aid to for the thousands of lost
jobs a smoking ban causes. Or maybe the local councils and commissions don't
really care about the "little guy" after all.
Stub and Herb's
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