Posted on | July 11, 2012
Written by | Paul Santelle
As we are forced once again to focus on the two-license challenge, I have been encouraged by the message I have been hearing from key members of our legislature and our administration who have told me that the alcohol industry is “our” industry and not the “New Jersey Food Council’s” industry.
There has never been a more important time to capitalize on the fact that roughly 95% of our off-premise licensees are independent small business owners primarily engaged and dedicated to the sale of alcoholic beverages. On the other hand, the remaining 5% of our licenses are comprised of warehouse clubs and supermarkets that only sell alcoholic beverages in a secondary business model to provide ancillary sales to food and/or other home goods products. Clearly, their survival is not dependent upon wine, beer and spirits, yet the New Jersey Food Council’s relentless assaults are a direct threat to the entire small business sector of our industry. They see alcohol as a consumer lure and nothing more than a loss leader!
A recent economic impact study the NJLSA and NJ Wine & Spirit Wholesalers Association (NJWSWA) requested from a very highly respected analyst revealed that the state would put in jeopardy tens of millions of dollars in current existing “real” tax revenue by increasing our New Jersey’s two-license limit law. This study, whcih will be made public by the time this publication is in your hands, will show that our industry sector creates almost $100 million net tax dollars to the state. By comparison, the supermarket industries generate roughly $250 million net tax dollars. However, the supermarket industry does roughly 30 times the sales volume of our industry ($60 billion vs. $2 billion)! Clearly, our state comes out ahead by supporting and sustaining a primary business model for alcohol sales versus a secondary business model that puts a substantially smaller tax yield into our state coffers.
The time has come for our legislature to put an end to all of the New Jersey Food Council’s one-sided “One Stop Shopping” crusade.
This is Our Industry, Our Future Depends On It!
In spite of the constant rhetoric from our opposition, the facts speak for themselves. Just about every published study that has compared our alcohol industry model to other states’ models supports everything that we have been doing as working better, as well as serving the public safety and general welfare of our public better than any other state in our country.
And that is why this issue is nothign more than an out-of-state agenda. It all boils down to carpetbaggers who want to take whatever they can and export it in the form of an artificial number on a financial statement supporting a faulty façade justified by some manipulated interpretation of free market capitalism. Our economy is still suffering from the Wall Street greed that crippled our great nation not five years ago, yet most of the same people who caused that near total collapse are back on top of the market, while many of us are still cleaning up, rebuilding our livelihoods.
If you are a retailer who cares about your business and your ability to put food on the table, the time has come for you to step up and support your industry by supporting the NJLSA. In addition to Retail Membership for off-premise licensees, we are now offering Associate Memberships for our extensive industry affiliates who want to support our continued efforts. Obviously, we appreciate all of the support that our extensive industry affiliates extend to us via our Annual NJLSA Holiday Trade Show as well as our Annual NJLSA PAC Golf Outing. This is another great way to join together fighting for our industry. Please be sure to go to our website for more information on all of these opportunities to support the NJLSA!