Tim Hortons could set up shop in Michigan Capitol - KMSP-TV

Tim Hortons could set up shop in Michigan Capitol

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

The Michigan Capitol building could be home to a Tim Hortons under a deal that's in the works.

FOX 2 political consultant Tim Skubick says a former state House press room could be converted into a restaurant, the first such arrangement at the building. "It's unprecedented in state history," says Skubick.

The Canadian-based coffee-and-doughnut chain is talking with the Commission for the Blind, which has rights to sell food in state buildings.

Republican state Rep. John Walsh of Livonia says he's excited about the possibility of the business opening up and hiring workers. Skubick says the business would probably do quite well as 300,000 students go through the building each year, not mention staffers, lobbyists and members of the media.

Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat from East Lansing, says she has questions about the plans and the business Canadian roots. "We really try to promote Michigan and in Michigan's Capitol, Michigan's taxpayers paying for this, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me," said Whitmer.

"I would love a U.S. firm to have every opportunity, but (Tim Hortons) is an international business that operates throughout our country, hires U.S. citizens and provides services that we care to buy," said Walsh.

Skubick says local businesses near the Capitol are opposed to the idea, saying the state would foot the bill to renovate the building for Tim Hortons, a private business.

"We've always been opposed to unfair competition or government competition with the private sector," said Rob Fowler, CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan.

Skubick says the deal has not been finalized and is being reviewed by Gov. Rick Snyder's office.

- The Associated Press contributed to this story

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