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COVID-19 UPDATES

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 March 25, 2020



INDUSTRY UPDATES

 

NEW! 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. 

 

NEW!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 May 15. 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. 

 

STATE LIQUOR AUTHORITY COVID-19 FAQ'S

 

OPERATING SAFELY AS AN ESSENTIAL BUSINESS (Source: Retail Untapped) 

 

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. 

 

 

BUSINESS ASSISTANCE

 

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