The people of Providence who consume these products, which have now been deemed, for the most part, illegal to sell in the city, will not just stop buying those products. They’ll seek them elsewhere and take their business with them. This is going to hurt Providence businesses because those same people won’t just go somewhere outside the city to find those products, they’ll start making those outside businesses their choice for lots of other things that they buy, such as gas and groceries. Many people buy tobacco products as part of their grocery shopping, and so local businesses lose a lot more than just a few dollars from the sale of tobacco products.
This kind of government overreach is not only going to restrict job growth among local businesses that sell tobacco products, but will put current jobs at risk. Businesses will have to cut back on staff to off-balance their revenue losses.
The City Council should be listening to and supporting local retailers – not placing them at a competitive disadvantage compared to those stores just outside the city’s borders.
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