Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Missing the Point On Eliminating the Bergen Blue Laws

Currently, Bergen County is the only county in the state that forces most businesses to shutter on Sundays. It's claimed that this is a quality of life issue and that allowing businesses to open on Sunday would create massive traffic and logistical nightmares for localities throughout the county.

This editorial is typical of the complaints, but it also completely misses the point. It is most assuredly about the money that the county and the state desperately needs to balance the state's budget because of massive shortfalls. Opening the door to allowing businesses to open on Sunday means that localities can decide for themselves whether they want to open on Sunday and businesses can make that determination themselves.

It means that business will not go outside the county and the state on Sundays and that traffic on Saturdays will equalize with Sunday traffic as shoppers will no longer be constrained to go shopping on Saturdays alone.

Paramus will likely still seek to keep its major malls shut, but other localities may be more than willing to open up. Since there's been more than a decade since the last action to repeal the Blue Law was taken, perhaps it's high time to reconsider.

Moreover, given the alternatives to dire cuts, allowing shopping and all the business revenues that flow from allowing retail businesses to open on Sundays is a small price to pay for Bergen County.

No comments: