Posted on | November 4, 2013
Written by | Paul Santelle
Long-Term Impact of ‘Sandy’ Continues One Year Later
As we commemorate the one year anniversary of what we now know to be the second most costly hurricane in U.S. history (behind Katrina), it is apparent that it will be years before we will know whether or not the areas most impacted by the wrath of Sandy will return to their prior state.
I for one can tell you that my transient business, which stretches from hard-hit Staten Island to the devastated Jersey Shore, continues to be affected by the lingering impact of Sandy. The celebration of the 25th anniversary of my Perth Amboy business was bittersweet this past summer—mainly due to the fact that it was clear that many of my customers were still struggling with the rebuilding of their homes and lives.
A Resurrected Fedway Has Rebounded from Sandy
In October, New Jersey ABC Director Michael Halfacre hosted the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators (NCSLA) at the Revel in Atlantic City, which included a panel discussion about impact of Sandy on the state’s alcohol industry. I was a panel member and spoke about how the off-premise sector was affected, but I was extremely impressed by the presentation by Robb Sansone, which included a video montage of the devastation, cleanup and resurrection of Fedway’s facilities in Kearny, NJ.
It almost seemed surreal, yet it was a reality based presentation that captured the commitment and dedication of everyone connected to Fedway and the outpouring of support that followed in the wake of Sandy. Richard Leventhal’s true character is defined and complemented by the term Fedway Strong, and I commend him and all of his employees for their incredible effort in the recovery, rebuilding and rebounding of their company!
Level Playing Field Legislation on the Move in Lame Duck
Both Senate Bills S2966 and S2967, which the NJLSA is supporting, should start moving through the Legislature in the Lame Duck session that follows the November 5th elections. Both of these pieces of much needed legislation will stabilize our marketplace and insure a level playing field with our big box and grocery store chain competitors. S2967 represents one of the most important bills for independent retailers since the deregulation of our industry in 1980.
The NJLSA has been hard at work this year monitoring our state’s municipalities that have allowed or attempted to allow changes at the local level that would clearly give big box grocery chains or clubs the upper hand when it comes to our already competitive marketplace.
Now is the Time to Join the NJLSA!
In addition to the full-time demands of running our stores, the NJLSA Board of Directors and Trustees all work pro bono for the retail sector of our industry, protecting and defending the livelihoods of every independent off-premise retail licensee. We need new members and more retailers to step up and help us deliver our message to everyone connected to the legislative process.
The NJLSA will be sending our annual mailing for membership dues to every off-premise retail licensee in the State at the end of November, so please be sure to support your business and your industry by joining and sending in your dues to support your NJLSA. We have also provided a Membership Application on the opposite page that you can cut out and return with your dues to our Trenton office. Help us help you by joining the NJLSA! You can also go to our website and renew or enroll your membership by credit card or Pay-Pal (coming soon).
All dues received before the end of this year will be good for a full membership through December 31st, 2014!
Thank You for Making the 8th Annual NJLSA Holiday Show a Huge Success!
The NJLSA Directors send a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the 8th Annual NJLSA Holiday Trade Show that took place on Wednesday, October 30th. The retailers, wholesalers and suppliers representing all three tiers of our industry as well as the Division of ABC, AARA, NJLBA and NJRA all contributed to making the event memorable for all in attendance.
I also would like to send a BIG THANK YOU out to Patricia Brewer at our Trenton Headquarters who made the show a reality. Her efforts and coordination ensured that the show lived up to everyone’s expectations for what a show of this size should be. Once again, it was my great pleasure to have Juan Carlos Negrin, NJLSA Treasurer, as my Co-Conference Chair this year. Kudos to Juan for his tireless effort and dedication!