Posted on | June 4, 2015
Written by | Sara Kay
On the links, in Washington and in Trenton, solidarity needed
LAST CALL! Annual NJLSA-PAC Golf Outing NJLSA June 15th
The 5th Annual NJLSA-PAC Golf Outing will be on Monday June 15th at Royce Brook Golf Club, in Hillsborough. This is the most important PAC-fundraising event the NJLSA does each year! Political Action Committee (PAC) funds play an by supporting elected State Legislators who advocate on behalf of the livelihoods of our licensees.
Please join us on the course for lunch followed by 18 holes of pure fun and industry solidarity. Or plan to come to the cocktail reception and buffet dinner that immediately follows the golf and is always the highlight of the day. (See opposite page or go to NJLSA.com)
NJLSA teaming up with ABL in Nat ion’s Capitol
The American Beverage Licenses (ABLusa.org) will be hosting this year’s annual convention in Washington, DC, from June 7th-9th. Members of the NJLSA Board of Trustees will be participating, including NJLSA Director Sunny Patel who will be honored as the New Jersey Retailer of the Year.
In addition to recognizing Sunny for all of the work he does for our industry outside of running his store, we will also be focusing on many important industry topics such as: grassroots lobbying; state of the beer business; upcoming credit/debit card system changes; legalized recreational marijuana; and even ways to manage your Yelp reputation.
NJLSA Monitoring Two Troubling Assembly Bills
As reported last month, we are still concerned about two bills that surfaced with our licenses aligned in their crosshairs. In May, we went to our State House to meet with members of the Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee to discuss our positions, and we are now waiting to see if either of these bills will advance.
Assembly Bill A4267 calls for the creation of potentially thousands of new and very inexpensive licenses for BYOB restaurants, which could include anything from a pizzeria to a McDonalds to a Quick Check or a boardwalk concession with a kitchen. These new R-1 & R-2 licenses would be issued at the local municipal level and cost $1,500 to $10,000, equating to a fraction of the cost of existing licenses, the latter of which would see a substantial decrease in market value, not to mention a dilution of market share.
Our primary concern relates to the establishment of a legislative precedent for possible future consideration of new R-3 retail licenses for grocery and convenience stores as well as pharmacies and/or big box stores like Walmart! We are currently working with industry partners to create an alternative bill that would not turn our marketplace upside-down.
The second and greater immediate threat we are monitoring, Assembly Bill A2002, would raise our current two license limit to 10 licenses and allow for the co-mingling of alcohol sales with grocery sales. It has been well established that Wegmans Food Markets is behind this bill and hiding behind the façade of their trade association known as “Retailers for Responsible Liquor Licensing.”
In addition to the two corporate Wegmans licenses operating in New Jersey, Wegmans family members control five other licenses at the other five Wegmans Food Markets in New Jersey, with family member license number six likely on its way for the new Wegmans Food Market currently under construction in Hanover, NJ. Ironically, we were asked earlier this year if we would consider raising the two license limit to 8 instead of 10—go figure?