Ordinance Aims to Keep Chicago Shops From Going Cashless

It's a sign of the times.

Many Chicago businesses are opting for credit-only payment methods. But one alderman says not so fast. Proposing an ordinance that would require shops to take cash.

Xuan Tea in Wicker Park is the latest Chicago business to go cashless.

“It’s much easier for us to operate without cash involved. And also it’s safer,” owner Keqi Meng said.

An ordinance proposed by Ald. Edward Burke would ban shops from having no cash policies.

“This note is legal tender for all debts public and private, so follow the law,” Burke said.

Business owners say operating without cash eliminates trips to the bank and counting drawers. They also notice more people paying with apps on their smart phones and watches.

“Most customers use card anyways, so they don’t have a problem with it," Meng said. "And some people want to pay with cash, but they also carry card with them.”

Burke argues credit card fees often get rolled into the price of products, then passed to consumers.

Supporters of the measure say no cash signs are a “you’re not welcome” sign for many without access to credit, including people on low or fixed incomes.

The measure carries a $1,000 to $2,500 fine if violated. Businesses could also have their licenses suspended or revoked.

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