Philadelphia business owners continue to lose business and sales because of a significant beverage tax imposed by the City Council and Mayor Kenney. They’ve been forced to lay off employees as customers abandon city stores for stores just outside the border where beverages are untaxed.

Some are stepping up to let people know what is happening.

In an article by NBC Philadelphia, Sean McMenamin, president of McMenamin Family ShopRites says, “This tax has been particularly hard on stores like ours, which operate in neighborhoods that are very close to the suburbs.” 

This week, 18,000 letters and petitions were delivered to the City Council by members of the “Ax the Bev Tax” coalition, which is documenting the economic damage being done to small local businesses as well as the harm done to Philadelphians who have to pay 50 percent or more for their beverages now.

Miguel Medrano, a North Philly bodega owner for the past 20 years, says he’s never before faced a tougher time keeping his business afloat as he has since the beverage tax came into effect Jan. 1. The tax hiked prices significantly on sodas, teas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and juice drinks, driving away customers.

"There are many people who have sold their businesses because the situation is unsustainable," Medrano said.

This is the effect of a tax that targets one product on store shelves and restaurant menus for severe price increases. There has to be a better way for a city to live within its budget than creating a heavy tax that cuts sales to local business people and hurts their employees who live paycheck to paycheck.