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PROVIDENCE – Two local groups representing minorities have called on the Providence Board of Licenses to reconsider proposed penalties against two nightclubs with a largely black clientele.
The Rhode Island Black Business Association and the Providence NAACP said that “unusually harsh” penalties against Jovan’s Lounge, located off Broad Street, and Snub’s, located on North Main Street, have caused great revenue losses and created additional expenses for events that took place off of both businesses’ premises. In a statement, the groups asked that “due consideration” be given to the positive contributions both clubs have made to the Rhode Island economy and its black community.
In July, the board suspended the licenses of both clubs. Police exchanged gunfire with a patron outside Jovan’s and two patrons were shot outside Snub’s in two separate, unrelated incidents on July 27.
Lisa Ranglin, president of the Black Business Association, said in a statement that the penalties are creating hardships for not only the business owners, but also the employees.
Jim Vincent, president of Providence NAACP, called the incidents “regrettable,” but said that “gang-related activity taking place on the street and off premises are well outside the control of any business establishment.” •