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Forcing Small Business to Be Good Corporate Citizens

The City Council of Los Angeles recently voted 15-0 to explore the feasibility of compelling farmers markets in the city to accept food stamp EBT cards as a form of payment.

This would require all farmers markets to purchase a debit/credit card terminal in order to read the EBT cards as well as adopting a cumbersome paper process in order to be paid for their EBT transactions.

Council will enforce its will in this matter by refusing to certify any markets that fail to accept food stamp EBT cards.

Supporters of the measure believe that the markets should be able to get the electronic terminals at no cost from the state. Venders at each marker would all share one terminal.

The purpose behind Council’s action is to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables in the city’s urban neighborhoods that lack easy access to major supermarkets.

Instead of burdening small businesses already in these neighborhoods, it might be more productive in the long run to correct the conditions that are preventing supermarkets from locating in these areas.