City v. Small Business Owners | Letters | Chicago Reader

City v. Small Business Owners 

As another small business owner recently targeted for selling used CDs without a secondhand dealer's license, I felt compelled to point out the most obvious flaw in Alderman Schulter's recent addition to the ordinance [Post No Bills, December 13]. While all other items previously covered in the law are unique by appearance or serial number, recordings of all types are sold in this city by the millions. How can the city believe that the information collected can represent anything other than questionable evidence at best? It seems unlikely that the real motives behind this law are concerned with the arrest of criminals.

As a responsible used book, record, and CD dealer in Chicago for over 18 years, I've found that the city has been indifferent to reported cases of the theft of books and recordings from myself and other dealers. The most common refrain heard has been "How could you know they were yours?" Only an idiot posing as a business owner would be willing to jeopardize their investment by knowingly purchasing stolen items. The few that try do not last long. It's primarily been through the contact and self-policing between the established small business owners themselves that the problem has remained minimal. Instead of working with us, the city has once again chosen to see us as another untapped source of revenue.

Hopefully, this is a fact that all our customers will voice an opinion on now, as well as in elections to come.


Bob Roschke


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