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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) today introduced an ordinance to ease the financial and regulatory burdens on Chicago’s coin-operated laundry businesses. The ordinance, which reduces the number of overnight attendants for coin-operated laundromats, comes as the result of the City’s efforts to work with the coin-operated laundromat industry and to ease their financial burdens.
“It is important for us to continue to work in lock-step with the business community and residents to ensure safe and affordable services can be provided in every neighborhood,” said Mayor Emanuel. “While business regulations may seem small to some, these types of changes have a big impact on the quality of life for residents and the ability for businesses to pass along those savings to customers.”
Currently, the law requires that operators must have two attendants during overnight hours, 11:30pm to 6:00am, and only one attendant is required from 6:00pm to 11:30pm. Under this ordinance, only one attendant would be required to staff the establishments during overnight hours.
“We took a hard look at this proposal and determined that we could help these businesses without compromising the safety of consumers,” said BACP Commissioner Samantha Fields. “Businesses that are open during the overnight hours are already required to maintain a video surveillance system and to report any illegal activity to the police.”
Coin-op laundromats provide a necessary service in many Chicago neighborhoods. By decreasing the required number of overnight attendants from two to one the City can provide immediate financial relief to these businesses.
“The Illinois Coin Laundry Association (CLA) is thankful to the City of Chicago for recognizing the need to help our industry reduce pressure on prices charged to our customers, who are mostly lower income citizens. Given the advent of affordable high tech security cameras and security systems, the need for two employees to be present during the overnight hours has become unnecessary and redundant. The elimination of this additional cost will go a long way to helping laundromats maintain affordable prices for the residents of Chicago who rely on such business. Weapplaud the City for helping an industry that has seen a great number of operators close in the last several years,” said President Paul Hansen.
BACP is committed to supporting small businesses and safeguarding public safety. This ordinance reaches a happy compromise that serves both the business community and consumers.