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LA City Council moves toward banning cashless businesses

The Los Angeles City Council is one step closer to banning cashless businesses.

The City Council’s Tuesday vote directs a legislative analyst to work with the city’s attorney’s office to create a new policy. The goal is to create more inclusion, allowing everyone – from low-income people denied access to credit cards to unhoused or older people – to participate in the city’s economy and shop where they want.

“Most people don’t have bank accounts and credit cards, and people who do have credit cards are all maxed out,” one supporter of the council’s move told NBC4.

According to a 2017 report from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 17% of all African-American households and 14% of Latino households in the U.S. had no bank account.

However, not everyone is on board.

The pandemic ushered in a cashless wave as retailers tried to do their part to prevent COVID infections. Others, though, went cashless to prevent theft.

Maria Monroy is a manager at Maria’s Italian Kitchen on Ventura Boulevard. Going cashless is something she and her staff have been seriously considering due to the break-ins that she said are being committed by unhoused people in the alley behind the building.

“They’re trying to find the safes, so they’re trying to get cash from us,” Monroy said.

But if City Council moves forward with banning cashless businesses, they wouldn’t be able to choose.

“We have mixed emotions about it,” Monroy said.

Lauren Logan is the owner of Juvenile Shop, a baby store also on Ventura Boulevard.

Logan’s business has been around for 50 years. While she still allows cash because she wants to accommodate her customers, she wants to be the one to decide.

“I don’t think they should say we can or we can’t. It is up to the business owner and what we feel comfortable with,” Logan said.

City News Service contributed to this story.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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