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Resolution Limits Number of Pawn Shops in City

If you are thinking about opening a pawn shop in New Britain anytime soon, you will need to look elsewhere.

The City Council recently passed a resolution limiting the number of pawn shops, halfway houses, checking cashing outlets and alternative correctional centers allowed in New Britain.

There are presently five pawn shops and one more is approved to open soon.

Kris Rutkowski, owner of Tri-City Trading, said he helped with making a petition given to the City, which is signed by all five pawn shops presently in business in the City.

“There are too many pawn shops for the residents of New Britain,” said Rutkowski. “We don’t need any more. There are just so many people to go around. The prize is getting smaller and smaller.”

Jaws Pawn Shop Owner Bill Newell, said too many pawn shops makes it difficult for any one pawn shop to expand.

“We don’t really mind the competition. It’s just that too many pawn shops do not allow any of the existing pawn shops to grow,” said Newell. “Most pawn shops in New Britain are strict. Those that don’t abide by regulations make it harder for us.”

Aldermen Manny Sanchez, Carlo Carlozzi and Jamie Giantonio proposed this ordinance last year and brought it up again after the new administration was elected.

“It was a bi-partisan resolution in that we have been working on for some time,” said Carlozzi. “The city is well served with 6 pawn shops in operation.”

Carlozzi said the main purpose of this bill was to help the police department.

“The more pawn shops in the City, the more administration work for the police department,” said Carlozzi. “This resolution helps to relieve man hours that could be spent on other police matters.”

The pawn shops have many regulations. When items are stolen police go to pawn shops to see if items are there. This takes officers away from doing other police work.

“I am always looking to have a better relationship with the City and the police,” said Newell. “I think most pawn shops in the City do work well with officials.”

According to a statement from the planning commission, “there are very real concerns related to these uses, though in some cases it may be more a matter of negative perception, rather than an actual, measurable adverse effect.”

The new resolution also limits the number of pawn shops to four. If two of the six with permits move out of town or go out of business, new ones cannot take their place. It also limits movement of pawn shops.