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Ohio cities and towns putting moratoriums and operating rules in place for dollar stores

A photo of a Dollar General store in East Palestine, Ohio.
Sophia Lucente
Kent State Collaborative NewsLab
A photo of a Dollar General store in East Palestine, Ohio.

Dollar stores have become ubiquitous in cities and small towns, including here in Ohio.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest says as of last fall, Dollar General and Dollar Tree, which also owns Family Dollar stores, accounted for 35,000 stores nationwide. For comparison, Walmart currently operates about 4,600 stores in the U.S.

A study last year from the American Journal for Public Health described dollar stores as the fastest growing food retailers in the country.

The prevalence of dollar and discount retail stores have led some communities to push back enacting moratoriums and other legislation to give cities and towns more say.

The City of Canton is one of the most-recent cities to act passing a moratorium on new construction for this year and rules that new stores will have to adhere to once the moratorium ends.

On April 17, on Ideastream Public Media’s, the “Sound of Ideas,” we discussed the Canton moratorium with the city’s planning director and took a fuller look at the issue statewide with a reporter from the Ohio Newsroom.

Dollar General declined a request to be part of the conversation but did offer this statement on the topic.

“At Dollar General, we care about and are invested in the health of our communities. With approximately 75 percent of Americans within five miles of a DG store, thousands of customers across the country rely on us for convenient and affordable access to everyday household essentials.

We believe restrictive measures harm communities by limiting customer choice, convenience and affordability, particularly in inflationary times, and forcing customers to travel farther and/or spend more to access basic household and food items. Our mission of Serving Others and our intense customer focus differentiate Dollar General from other seemingly similar retailers, something we are able to demonstrate when provided the opportunity to engage with government and community leaders. “

-Donn Angus, Planning Director, City of Canton
-Kendall Crawford, Reporter, The Ohio Newsroom

Leigh Barr is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and the "Sound of Ideas Reporters Roundtable."