Small town business say smoking ban burns them the most

By Nicole Hornbaker Hamner

Last spring, public and private businesses went smoke-free. Some breathed a sigh of relief. Not so for many clubs and private businesses, especially in the smaller communities in the area. Some of those establishments have been holding their breath and trying to keep their doors open. With the new year, many of those business owners are hoping the new legislation will consider making a change before it is too late. Rural businesses feel the burn Two years ago, Evart resident Eric Schmidt opened Schmidty’s a night club, entertainment center and bar/restaurant. He dreamed of a gathering place for residents in the Evart area to come and enjoy a few drinks, have a good meal, listen to music, watch comedy shows, and relax. He said he hoped to open a place that he could nurture and pass down to his children. They started out strong, he said, but then word came about the smoking ban. They hoped for the best, feared the worst, and he said, that is exactly what has happened.