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In Response to Re: Wal-Mart and DC:
Surprise: D.C.’s “living wage” bill targets Wal-Mart, but could discourage other businesses
Mayor Vincent Gray has been wary of the law, but not said whether he’ll veto it. Now, the city’s top economic development official warns it may spook companies other than Wal-Mart:
Victor L. Hoskins, deputy mayor for planning and economic development, would not say whether he would recommend that Mayor Vincent C. Gray veto the legislation, which would require some large retailers to pay minimum wages and benefits of $12.50 an hour.
But he said its passage into law would have a “chilling impact” on retail growth in the city, driving away not only Wal-Mart — which has said it will abandon plans for three of six planned stores should the bill become law — but other national retailers considered more desirable by residents and elected officials.
“They’re killing the golden goose,” Hoskins said of city lawmakers. Though they may believe they’re targeting Wal-Mart, he added, other retailers “are concerned it may someday turn on them.”
Possibly at risk: West Coast grocery store chain Wegman’s and a Lowe’s:
Hoskins declined to name specific retailers who have expressed dismay at the council’s move. But besides the three Wal-Mart-anchored sites already known to be at risk, he said the bill could arrest development at the former Walter Reed Army Hospital site in Northwest and expansion of the Costco-anchored Shops at Dakota Crossing site along New York Avenue NE.
Wegmans, the New York-based megagrocery, has been rumored for more than a year as a possible anchor for the Walter Reed site. Lowe’s, the home improvement big-box, has been in talks to locate at Dakota Crossing.
Vincent Orange, one of the city’s pro-”living wage” politicians said: “We’re at a point where we don’t need retailers. Retailers need us.”
Then what explains the double-digit unemployment in the very sections of D.C. these stores would have located with their hundreds of jobs? And, what is Orange doing to find better employment for those who live there?
Posted by jfpinlvn
What's the "surprise"?