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Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce Statement On Selling Wine In Grocery Stores

There has been a lot of discussion and controversy regarding Governor Paterson’s budget proposal to allow wine sales in grocery stores. Obviously, many in the wine industry are for the proposal as they believe it will help increase sales of their products. Conversely, most liquor store owners are against the idea as they fear a drop in their gross sales. The Governor’s position is that by increasing wines sales, tax revenues will increase and jobs will be created. We all favor that. The Geneva Chamber of Commerce is an advocate for all businesses, and we especially value the small “mom and pop” businesses that predominate our area, no matter what their business. We also see both sides of this issue. The Finger Lakes area is all about natural beauty, rich soil and a climate conducive to the growth of a variety of grapes. Over the past twenty-five years many entrepreneurs and financial supporters have invested millions of dollars and hours into what was once a fledgling wine industry. Today, their commitment and labor has brought us notoriety and prosperity unparalleled by most other industries. It is imperative that the wine industry sustains itself for many more generations to come. Governor Paterson’s proposal will help achieve this end.Small family owned liquor stores must be given help to sustain themselves also. We encourage the Governor to expand his proposal to allow these businesses to sell grocery items such as beer and snacks to help them make up for any potential lost wine sales. Change sometimes comes hard; often it is necessary. Change for the sake of change is usually not a good thing. Change that benefits everybody in the long run should be pursued. The Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce believes that by modifying his proposal, Governor Paterson can change things for the better for parties on both sides of this issue.

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