Jersey City proposes to limit its capacity for big chains
Jersey City proposes to limit its capacity for big chains

The city is trying to boost mom-and-pop shops over franchise giants.

Mike Fulop, the major of Jersey City, is hoping to limit the amount of chain stores in neighborhoods in favor of local mom-and-pop businesses. According to a proposed draft, only 30 percent of commercial space downtown can be rented or leased to a business that has 10 other locations within a 300-mile radius.

Big chains like McDonald’s and Subway have well over 10 locations per city, so if this ruling passes, the city will dramatically decrease its number of chain businesses. While angering some developers, this proposal has been well-received by urban planners and small retailers.

“Applebee’s isn’t exactly a food destination that attracts people from all over the region,” Mr. Fulop said.

He added: “We don’t want every retail space to become a Gap, TGI Fridays or a Starbucks.”

If passed, Jersey City would join cities like San Francisco and Nantucket, Mass. that have previously ruled to limit chain retailers in specific neighborhoods, and have received praise for upholding an eclectic mix of small businesses, including coffee shops, boutiques and food establishments.

Critics of such policies claim this is discriminatory against business and the free market should determine who moves into a retail space.

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