But despite the consensus among D.C. stakeholders about the economic value our stores would bring, some Council members are now advancing an 11th hour effort to undermine our efforts and change the way businesses like Wal-Mart must operate in the city. New legislation - the Large Retailer Accountability Act (LRAA) - requires that a few large employers pay a start rate more than $5 per hour higher than the minimum wage.
From day one, we have said this legislation is arbitrary, discriminatory, and discourages investment in D.C. We have gone to great lengths to have thoughtful conversations with Council members about why LRAA will result in fewer jobs, higher prices and a smaller number of total retail options. It means most shopping dollars will stay in the suburbs, unemployment will remain in the double-digits in some neighborhoods and underserved communities will continue to have disproportionate access to affordable groceries.
As a result, Wal-Mart will not pursue stores at Skyland, Capitol Gateway, and New York Avenue, if the LRAA is passed. What’s more, passage will also jeopardize the three stores already under construction as we will thoroughly review the financial and legal implications of the bill on those projects.
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