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The cashless cookie continues to crumble

Friday, February 7, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

After recommending a blanket ban on cashless retail establishments (with more than five employees) last week, Commissioner Courtney Santana said the Human Rights Commission may be ready to reconsider its position in order to find a solution that works for everyone. During the commission’s Jan. 27 meeting, some members acknowledged that smaller businesses may be worried about the risk of keeping substantial amounts of cash in their stores. Having previously looked into the issue, Santana said she didn’t think that was the reason businesses were going cashless. She said someone at local cashless cookie shop Tiff’s Treats had told her the decision was about technology and efficiency. Since then, Santana spoke with Tiff’s Treats co-founder Leon Chen and discovered that the initial source had not been authorized to speak on the matter. Chen convinced Santana that safety has always been the reason the company does not accept cash. He also clarified the company’s wish to avoid discrimination against unbanked individuals and arrive at a solution that can address both safety and equity. Santana said Chen is looking to meet with her and Commissioner Garry Brown in early March to discuss some potential solutions. Santana said they may be looking to reach out to other local cashless establishments like Chi’Lantro BBQ to form a task force to work on the issue. “At the end of the day, the solution is what we’re going for, not to draw a line in the sand,” she said.

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