Press Release – Small Business Testifies Against Smoking Ban

18 03 2009

I got the following press release from the Michigan Licensed Beverage assocation in regards to this morning’s committee hearing regarding the smoking ban.  I don’t agree with it and there’s no proof that this has happened anywhere else, but it’s the case they’re trying to make.  Again, I can give you names of owners that were against a smoking ban in other states only to find out business was BETTER after it was enacted.

Small Business Advocates Testify

to Save Michigan Jobs

 

Bar owners fight to survive Michigan economy

 

LANSING, Mich. — Legislators are putting hundreds of small businesses and thousands of jobs at risk with the threat of a statewide smoking ban, members of the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association (MLBA) told the House Regulatory Reform Committee today.  The MLBA urged lawmakers to protect small businesses across the state by voting against a statewide smoking ban.

            “A statewide smoking ban is a ban on thousands of Michigan jobs,” said Lance Binoniemi, executive director of the Michigan Licensed and Beverage Association. “Given Michigan’s dire economy, any unnecessary regulations on small businesses are downright economically irresponsible.”

Binoniemi and MLBA members – Rick Roberson, owner of Angelo’s & Riccardo’s in Hesperia; Rick Swindlehurst, owner of  the Blue Gator Sports Pub and Grill and Cheers Neighborhood Grill & Bar in Mount Pleasant; Dave Munson, owner or the Summer Trail Inn in Standish; and Kassandra Renneberg, owner of the Riverdale Tavern in Riverdale Michigan – made the case that forcing Michigan businesses to compete with American Indian-owned casinos that would be exempt from any state-sanctioned smoking ban, would directly put hundreds of Michigan businesses at a competitive disadvantage. Michigan currently has more than 750 businesses surrounding its American Indian-owned casinos.

 “Enacting a statewide smoking ban will gamble away thousands of Michigan jobs,” said Michael Batterbee, director of government relations for the Small Business Association of Michigan.  

“With the highest unemployment rate in the nation, now is not the time to put a single Michigan job at risk.”

More than 5,500 businesses in Michigan’s hospitality industry have already made the decision to go smoke-free and the number keeps growing. The hospitality industry is Michigan’s second largest employer, providing thousands of food-service careers and millions of dollars in payroll and business taxes to the state.

 “All businesses are not the same. If a business owner has built a clientele that chooses to smoke, they should be able to serve that customer base they have worked so hard to obtain.” said Binoniemi. “Lawmakers have a serious responsibility to struggling business owners all over the state to ensure they are able to keep their business – and Michigan – competitive.”

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5 responses

18 03 2009
Mike

They’re in a tough spot. The “level playing field” endorsed by statewide smoking ban proponents will never be level for them.

It’s been proven that smoking bans do not cause economic freefall, but that doesn’t mean a certain business isn’t affected. I’m sure that’s part of the point they’re trying to make.

We’ll see what eventually comes out of committee. If there’s no agreement with the Senate this time, it may be no bill is voted on anytime soon.

27 08 2009
marbee

Smoking bans absolutely devastate the tavern industry. People stay home to drink when they can’t smoke. Over 300 bars closed the first year alone of the smoking ban. There are 327 documented closings due to the smoking ban in the Minneapolis area including the last VFW there. Most of the bars affected are privately owned, and these bans trample private property rights. Most small bars are not affiliated with big chains, they are mom and pop bars that become virtually worthless after a ban. Close to 90% of the weight of tobacco smoke is composed of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and plain water (1989 Report of the Surgeon General p. 80). This mix is usually called “fresh air.” For this we take away property rights? So that someone’s smoke-free preference can trump an owners rights? Smokers Welcome, Non-Smokers Welcome, Anti-Smokers Buy Your Own Business!

27 08 2009
Marshall

Bar owners have long criticized smoking bans for costing them customers. Now, some charities are arguing that fewer customers also mean less money for charitable gambling.

“I can’t dispute that smoking is a bad health problem,” said King Wilson, executive director of Allied Charities of Minnesota, “But smoking bans are hurting charitable gambling operations.”

Wilson spoke Thursday night to about a dozen representatives of charitable gambling organizations at the Bemidji American Legion in Beltrami County, which has a smoke-free ordinance.

Ken Brandt of the Bemidji American Legion said charitable gambling receipts dropped by half since the smoking ban was adopted.
http://wcco.com/topstories/charities.smoking.ban.2.349950.html

This fact was backed up by a study done by the State of Minnesota.
http://www.gcb.state.mn.us/PDF_Files/Smoking%20ban%20study.pdf

The bottom line is the only studies that show business increasing or not affected are those done by tobacco control.

27 08 2009
Marshall

All of this B.S. about level playing field is exactly that. The free market is the ultimate level playing field. It was draconian laws like the smoking ban that made it un-level. Repeal all bans and the problem is solved!

4 02 2010
Erena

How come bar owners can’t decide if they want to go smokeless??. If a bar does not go smokeless, put a sign on the door saying “This is a Smoking Bar” and let the people decide if they want to go in !! My business is going to suffer because 80% of my customers are smokers !!

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