Montreal is fining record stores for staying open later than 5pm
It's safe to assume that most people who operate small businesses, especially ones that cater to niche markets such as vinyl aficionados, are not exactly rolling in the dough.
Especially in Montreal, where some indie record store owners are currently facing thousands of dollars in fines from the Quebec government for what seems like a very silly reason.
Quebec government targeting Montreal record stores with outrageous fines.— Scramblelock (@Scramblelock) December 11, 2019
And they fined them specifically on Record Store Day. What a joke!
Hope something can be done.https://t.co/7s2T3blY7U https://t.co/7s2T3blY7U
Provincial authorities slapped four record stores in Mile End with around $2,900 in fines each for staying open later than their usual hours on a day in April of this year.
The date in question? April 13, also known as Record Store Day, which is meant to serve as an international celebration of — and show of support for — independent record stores.
Rules in Quebec state that the latest any commercial establishment (save for pharmacies and supermarkets) can stay open on a weekday is 9 p.m. On a weekend, like when Record Store Day took place, they have to close by 5 p.m.
A record store is the integral part of an ecosystem and is, really often, an ecosystem in and off itself. If one disappear it's a whole network of connections, collaboration, possibilities that gets undone. Discos Son Cultira indeed. https://t.co/BuOcWv6CxV— Bowly / OJPB (@ShareyBowly) December 11, 2019
The vinyl retailers have been trying to find a way around having to pay the fines, since the law does have exemptions for businesses in touristy areas, as well as those that deal in art or antiques.
The four stores could, ostensibly, fall under some or all of these umbrellas, as shops like bookstores often do.
The owners said in a statement and call for help titled "Small Business Prosecution in the Mile End" that they feel the government's actions are "suspicious to say the least," and target businesses "that are trying to provide platforms for independent creatives at essentially zero-profit."
There has been a lot of recent concern about gentrification in Mile End , which has historically been a hub for musicians and other artists.
Join the conversation Load comments