French policemen, for example, were notoriously underpaid, so their wives topped up their income by running taverns. Ironically, the tavern, if perhaps not the one run by a policeman's wife, was usually the place where thieves disposed of the loot and the products of poaching. The police were supposed to see that licensing laws were respected, and they could protect their wives' businesses by harsher regulation of any competitors.
I'm having a tough time imagining J putting the squeeze on my competition, but times were hard, so who knows. :P