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Serving Ellicottville & the Twin Tiers of Western New York since 1989
The Official Newspaper of:
The Town & Village of Ellicottville
Town of Great Valley & Township of Mansfield

Local Liquor and
Wine Stores at Risk

(02/20/2009) By Gerlind Dubey

E’ville Spirits and the Village Wine Rack, both in Ellicottville built their wine and liquor businesses on the understanding that they wouldn’t have to compete with supermarket chains and convenience stores. That is why the two stores have joined forces with thousands of mom and pop wine and liquor stores across the state to lobby against Governor Paterson’s proposal to legalize wine sales in grocery and convenience stores.

If a provision in Gov. David Paterson’s budget passes the state legislature these two locally owned and operated small businesses along with a thousand or more of mom and pop owned liquor stores across the state face the possibility of closing their doors, that translates to more than four thousand jobs lost across the State. As it is New York’s unemployment rate is on the rise meaning higher increases in unemployment will strain New York State resources.

Rules regulating where you can open a Liquor Store are strictly enforced, one reason being underage drinking If wine is sold in grocery stores, teenagers will have greater access to the illegal purchase of alcohol — resulting in a heightened risk of underage drinking For decades, the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) has recognized that the best way to limit teenagers’ access to alcohol is to group the sale of wine with liquor. Wine sellers and liquor stores have greater control over who enters their stores, and who purchases alcohol, than supermarkets. But this proposal would also allow wine to be sold wherever beer is sold, meaning every gas station, mini-mart, and corner deli -- radically increasing access to alcohol for teens and stretching the already strained enforcement resources of the SLA.

New York state law currently limits beer sales to the state’s 19,000 grocery stores and wine and liquor sales to the 2,400 liquor stores (Small NYS wineries also sell wine in their tasting rooms.)

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