Springfield, Massachusetts, city officials are considering a measure that would require businesses to get a special permit to operate late at night.
The ordinance would make it illegal for places like gas stations, convenience stores and other retail shops to stay open between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless they're granted an extended-hours permit.
City Councilor Melvin Edwards said he’s not worried this will send the wrong message, as Springfield hopes to attract more businesses on the back of the 24-hour MGM casino. He said it’s about public safety.
“[There are security] services that are required when you operate those type of hours,” Edwards said. “The casino does operate 24 hours, but they do have their own security team, and there is a dedicated group of officers that are assigned to the area to maintain peace.”
Springfield's licensing commission proposed the ordinance, saying criminal activity around these late-night stores has caused problems for years.
The proposal will be discussed in committee.