The Cashless Retailers Prohibition Act was submitted by David Grosso in June this year, as a means to make restaurants accessible to all unbanked and underbanked residents. The bill was developed in reaction to a cashless trend that had a growing number of food retailers cease to accept cash – a highly discriminatory practice in a city where over a third of the population heavily relies on cash.
Businesses justify this practice as more convenient and more secure as it can reduce cash handing costs and deter burglars. In fact, many local entrepreneurs find this measure unfair given as digital payments gain ground in other sectors such as in transportation services and online shopping.
Yet Grosso considers cashless practices as a blatant discrimination of an already disadvantaged population who has partial or no access to banking services. “When you put out a policy that says that a third of the population is simply unable to participate in your business model, you’re putting your hand up and saying, ‘I don’t want you here,’” stated Grosse for Wamu. By forcing local retailers to accept cash, all residents can once again benefit from their services.
Leitmann-Santa Cruz, Associate Director of Capital Area Asset Builders, suggests counters that more residents should be encouraged to open bank accounts, as a better solution to increase their involvement in the country’s economy. But for the time being these residents should be allowed to choose a restaurant based on their wants and not on what’s in their wallets.
Grosso is due to present the bill this Fall.