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Defend NY's Current Liquor Laws To Protect Our Community
  • New potential changes to New York’s liquor laws will wreak havoc on New York’s small businesses, costing jobs and threatening both public health and safety due to direct shipping.
  • Lack of regulation: Recent surveys show a 25% failure rate in alcohol delivery age verification and 73% of NY moms believe direct-to-consumer shipping will increase underage alcohol access.
  • Economic impact: This will undermine the three-tier system, which ensures that no individual party in the supply chain — from manufacturer to distributor to end retailer — has too much control.
  • Corporate gain over community: Leaked memos reveal corporate secret lobbying to eliminate laws to increase their own profit margins (which would impact liquor stores and small producers)
Once again, there are rumblings about changes to New York’s liquor laws that would wreak havoc on New York’s small businesses, costing jobs and threatening both public health and safety. Perhaps the biggest threat is direct shipping of alcohol. As a family-owned and -operated business in Liverpool that has served Syracuse for over three generations, we are dedicated to the neighborhoods and the community we call home and strongly oppose misguided plans that will cause more harm than good.

Giant corporations are opening up their wallets and activating their lobbying efforts in their quest for more profits. They want to loosen the time-tested regulations that have kept the alcohol supply chain secure for nearly a century so they can take greater control and enrich themselves and their shareholders at the expense of mom-and-pop liquor stores.

Defying all guidance from public health experts and law enforcement professionals and understanding the devastation it will cause to community wine and spirits shops, big business wants to weaken liquor laws to enable manufacturers to ship liquor to the doorstep.

Meanwhile, the more that the public learns about this threat, the more they are afraid of the consequences. A new survey of 2,200 American adults from national polling firm showed that 1 in 4 consumers weren’t asked to verify age upon delivery of alcohol. Morning Consult found that 3 out of 4 adults are concerned about the age verification process when alcohol is shipped to the home. Nearly 60% of adults are concerned that changes to the law to allow direct shipping will increase underage drinking.

New York’s moms know their kids and they are concerned about the threat that weaker liquor laws will pose to their children and our communities. According to survey research, 73% of New York moms believe that direct-to-consumer alcohol shipping will lead to more booze in the hands of minors than ever before. A majority of them were also concerned about hazardous fake alcohol products on the market in New York.

Since the end of Prohibition, there has been a three-tiered system in place to regulate the distribution, sale and ultimately consumption of alcohol in New York. The ingenuity of this system is that it creates balance to ensure that no individual party in the supply chain — from manufacturer to distributor to end retailer — has too much control over the important market. As a result of these checks and balances, consumers are protected from predatory activity and there is supervision to help prevent societal ills.

The beauty of the three-tier system is that it has adapted and survived for a century and evolved to create a healthy ecosystem for innovation and commerce. As traditions, tastes, and technologies have changed, New York’s liquor law has adapted and transformed along the way. Any changes have been deliberate, balancing the public good with changing demands of both suppliers and consumers. This flexible system has fostered a vibrant economy for New York’s alcoholic beverage industry.

This time-honored and time-tested system is now the target of “disruption” by multinational publicly traded companies who will tear our community fabric just to make themselves wealthier. Tech giants, whose anti-competitive, anti-labor track record is well known, will destroy New York businesses and the thousands of jobs in our supply chain by shipping alcohol directly to someone’s doorstep just to increase profits.

Last year, a leaked memo showed how one tech giant plans to takeover the liquor industry. The company saw Covid-era lockdowns, one of the darkest periods in recent history, as an opportunity to weaken liquor laws and advance company interests nationwide. In the endless pursuit of growth and profit at all costs, global corporate giants don’t care about the very real cost of weaker alcohol laws. They don’t care that the direct shipment of alcohol to the home will increase underage drinking.

Licensed retailers care about the community they serve and they take their responsibility seriously. We know the importance of moderation and “when to say when.” For a century, New York’s liquor laws have worked to build a thriving economy for distillers, wineries, suppliers and the 3,400 wine and spirits retailers in our state. Disruption to this balanced system in the name of windfall profits for giant corporations is not in the public interest.

Even small changes have big consequences. As our elected leaders consider their priorities this year, they should protect small business, public health and public safety and refrain from dangerous changes that will hurt the communities of New York.
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