By : Kaylyn Hlavaty , Joe Pagonakis
Posted April 15th 2019
The Cleveland City Council introduced this month a piece of legislation that would temporarily prohibit giving permits to open so-called “dollar stores” within the City of Cleveland.
The legislation says a rapid increase of small-box general discount stores in Cleveland is hurting local businesses and the local economy.
The proposed ordinance was submitted for a first reading by Cleveland Councilman Blaine Griffin.
“It’s totally unacceptable, it’s insane how many times these stores have been robbed,” Griffin said.
“We control the zoning and the permitting process, and until we can actually put something in place to really make sure we regulate this process, we’re asking for a moratorium.”
Griffin showed News 5 Cleveland police records indicating one of the Family Dollar stores in his ward generated 107 police calls for service over the past two years.
Discount stores carry a variety of consumer goods, including household items, health products, food and beverages.
The legislation details that the strategy of Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and other discount stores is to saturate communities with multiple stores, making it nearly impossible for local full-service grocery stores to stay open and flourish.
Generally, dollar stores are known to have small selections of fresh food and carry mostly processed foods at inflated prices, the legislation notes.
Also, the legislation states that discount stores employ fewer employees at lower wages than grocery stores and often face class-action lawsuits for violating fair labor standards.
The piece of legislation will be sent to the council’s Development Planning & Sustainability Committee.
Dollar General responded to the proposed legislation with the following statement:
We believe the addition of each new Dollar General store represents positive economic development, as well as value and convenience for the communities in which we operate. Further, each Dollar General store creates career opportunities for individuals to achieve their career aspirations throughout our growing organization. Dollar General opened its first store in Cleveland in 2007, and we are proud to support the Cleveland community through the employment of nearly 150 individuals, as well as the donation of more than $290,000 to more than 50 Cuyahoga County schools, libraries and nonprofit organizations through the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to strengthen local literacy and educational programs over the past five years alone. Our stores provide Cleveland residents with a wide range of refrigerated and frozen food products, as well as an assortment of dry grocery and household items, all at everyday low prices. During our 2019 fiscal year, we plan to add fresh produce to approximately 200 stores, bringing the total number of stores with produce to approximately 650, as well as add our “Better For You” merchandise set to approximately 3,500 stores. We will continue to evaluate the expansion of such initiatives, taking into account our strategic, financial, format and distribution requirements. We appreciate the opportunity to serve the Cleveland community and look forward to doing so in the future.