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NAMA Seeks To Exempt Micro Markets From DC Cashless Ban

Feb 22, 2020

Wes Fisher, manager of government affairs at the National Automatic Merchandising Association, asked the Washington, D.C. city council to exempt self-service micro markets from a law requiring retail establishments to accept cash.


Wes Fisher

NAMA represents the convenience services industry, which Fisher said is uniquely impacted by this legislation because of micro markets which resemble a small unattended store with a self-checkout kiosk and offers refreshments, replacing a traditional bank of vending machines. 

"Many of these locations are closed to the public do not accept cash and instead have the option for employees to pay with a stored value card or credit card," Fisher testified, according to a press release.

The small businesses that operate these locations would incur great costs by switching over to cash, Fisher said.

One of the programs potentially affected would be the Randolph Sheppard Blind Vendor Program, which allows blind and visually impaired individuals to make a living by operating vending and micro markets in D.C. and federal government buildings, he said. 

Fisher asked the council to amend the legislation to exempt employee breakrooms from the cashless retailer prohibition and limit the retailer definition to "in-person, public transactions."

"This amendment will still achieve the desired effect of the legislation, while allowing operators to provide healthier meals and snacks to employees," he testified.

Photo courtesy of NAMA.