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.”