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The New York State Liquor Store Association is committed to being a resource for our members during this difficult time. We are gathering news, information and resources and will be updating this page regularly as we receive additional updates. Please check back frequently and feel free to contact us with questions.

Updated July 28, 2020



  • COVID-19 IMPACT SURVEY: Please take a moment to answer THIS SHORT SURVEY about how your business has been affected by COVID-19, since March 7, when Governor Cuomo declared a State of Emergency. LINK TO SURVEY:

  • LETTERS TO LEGISLATORS: We are asking retailers to write a letter to their NYS Senate and Assembly representatives (for your home and your business) urging them to oppose the legislation that has already been introduced in Albany, or any similar proposals that may be introduced in the future, that would allow restaurants and bars to sell to-go drinks, bottles of alcohol, and bottles of wine for consumption off the premise. 

    Please CLICK HERE for a sample letter to use to reach out to your representative. Copy and paste the letter and personalize it to your business or situation.  Please send your letter by regular mail to your legislators’ District Office, and email a copy of your letter to so our lobbyist knows which legislators have received letters; and also send us any response you receive from them.

    If you need additional help with your letter, please let us know.

    Use one of these links to find your legislators and their contact information:

    Search by address for your Assemblymember:

    Search by address for Your Senator:





All essential businesses (including liquor stores), and Phase II Retail Businesses must read the Guidance and Affirm their understanding of and compliance with the Guidelines.  Even if you have already filled out Guidance documents for essential businesses and Phase I Retail Businesses, you need to complete the New Phase II Interim Guidance forms for Employers and Employees of Retail Businesses:

Phase One Guidance for delivery, curbside, and in-store pickup service only 

Phase Two Guidance for Essential and Phase II Retail Business Guidelines for Employers and Employees


NEW! Executive Order 202.16: All essential businesses must provide face masks for any and all employees who are present in the workplace, and employees shall wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers of members of the public. Businesses must provide, at their own expense, such face coverings for their employees. This requirement shall be effective Wednesday, April 15, at 8:00 pm. CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER GUIDANCE


SLA Takes Immediate Actions to Provide Relief for Retailers in Response to the Novel Coronavirus: Payments for Renewal Fees and Penalties Extended, Wholesalers Allowed to Immediately Lower Prices Charged to Retailers, Relaxed Requirements for Municipal Notifications, Required Documentation. CLICK HERE FOR MORE. 


The NYS Liquor Authority posted it's guidance on retail price adjustments and lower quantity limits. Click HERE for more. 


THREE TIER SYSTEM DEEMED ESSENTIAL: All entities licensed by the NYS Liquor Authority, INCLUDING LIQUOR STORES, are deemed essential businesses which means you do not have to reduce your workforce and you may remain open. The three-tier system of alcohol distribution is OPEN for business. Click HERE for more. 


PLASTIC BAG BAG: Enforcement of statewide ban on single-use plastic bags has been delayed amid COVID-19. The state Department of Conservation posted a notice on its website pushing back the enforcement date from April 1 to June 15. On June 15, it was again delayed. There is no date yet when it is expected to be enforced. Click HERE for more. 


GUIDANCE ON RESTRICTIONS, TO-GO & DELIVERY: Pursuant to the Governor's order, effective Monday, March 16, 2020 at 8:00 PM, all licensed on-premises establishments (restaurants, bars, taverns, clubs, arenas, catering establishments, etc.) must cease on-premises sales of alcoholic beverages and/or food. CLICK HERE FOR MORE. 




NYS Guidance on Paid Leave for COVID-19

NYS Guidance:

For Employers:

For Employees:





Stop foot traffic: No one should wander in and discover your store during this time.

  • Make it clear with physical signage and social media postings that customers must place an order first. 
  • Set up a curbside pick-up station outside the store.

Set up a process for orders: This doesn't need to be sophisticated or expensive.

  • If you have an online platform or app for this, make it front and center via email marketing to your current customers and even digital marketing to new customers. If you don't have an online platform or app, then:
  • Share your phone number and ask customers to call in.
  • Set up a form (using tools like Google Forms or Typeform, for example) to take orders and share it on your website and social channels.
  • Have one team member in charge of taking orders to ensure none are missed.

Lend your experience: Offer your expertise to create some level of normalcy.

  • On the phone or form, ask for their favorite flavors and styles to build a wine or beer box around.
  • Offer cocktail kits with all they need to easily create classic cocktail options.
  • Throw in small freebies, if you can: metal stirring straws, corkscrews, branded merch.

Connect with your customers: Virtually, that is. 

  • Send regular email newsletters to subscribed customers, updating them on items in stock and changes to ordering processes.
  • Try hosting a virtual event, like a happy hour or social distancing party.
  • Ask for help! Financially, this is an unprecedented time for all industries. If your employees or store needs support, your community can help.

With all of these, ensure that employees are following safe and sanitary measures, like wearing gloves that are sanitized or changed regularly, wiping down merchandise, and staying six feet away from everyone at all times. 





To assist our members, we have assembled this additional COVID-19 Resource Center to provide you with the latest information, guidance and resources in relation to COVID-19. Below, you can find summaries of Federal and New York State actions and resources that may be of assistance to you and your business.

U.S. Federal Government
New York State Government

 NYS Department of Health COVID-19 Tracker: 
Click HERE to view a map of current cases in NYS