Rice Continues To Fight For Small Businesses In Immigrant Community

Indoor Smoking Ban Will Ruin Many living in Newark

NEWARK – Senator Ronald L Rice announced today that his fight against the indoor smoking ban “has just begun” because he feels a ban will destroy many small businesses and those in the immigrant communities of Newark.

“Newark is home to many locally run restaurants and bars that will be forced out of business if a indoor smoking ban takes effect,” said Senator Rice, Chairman of the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee. “A smoking ban will ruin small businesses in urban communities that rely on tobacco using clientele to keep afloat.”

Senator Rice noted that, “There are over 300 restaurants and drinking establishments in Newark, and many, especially in the East Ward of Newark, find it hard to pay their property and payroll taxes and struggle just to stay in business.”

Senator Rice stated that although some locations will be able to survive a smoking ban, many more who thrive on the revenue generated by those who smoke, will not be able to stay open.

Senator Rice also reported that business owners fear that there will be a significant drop in customers if the right to smoke in their establishments is taken away, and the owners will have no choice but to lay off workers.

“Residents, in particular those in the immigrant communities, have a difficult time finding any work, and for most, the only jobs available are low-skilled positions that local establishments provide,” said Senator Rice, D-Essex.

“Unfortunately, an indoor smoking ban will start a chain reaction that will ruin the urban communities. Bars and restaurants will be forced to close or cut back their employees who will no longer be able to spend their paychecks at other local businesses.

“I will continue to stand up for small businesses and their employees who will be hurt by a ban on smoking, because local residents in Newark depend on their jobs to survive.”