The Facts Behind the Fiction on Senate Bill 106
Legislation that would allow retailers to sell spirits within their stores instead of a separate liquor box is currently sitting on Governor Scott’s desk. The bill provides an opportunity to enhance Florida’s economy and empower customer choice, among other positives, and is about instilling free market principles in an industry that has been dominated by governmental protectionism since Prohibition.
Tens of thousands of Floridians have voiced their support for this bill. Here’s why:
- The bill removes the government from decisions businesses make about how they will operate.
- The bill grants brick and mortar establishments the freedom to find innovative ways to compete with the convenience of a growing online marketplace.
- The bill would allow companies such as Target, Walgreens, Costco, Whole Foods, Sam’s Club and Walmart the ability to avoid the burdensome cost of building a separate liquor box– creating the ability to invest those funds into other areas of their business right here in Florida.
- Customers have been clear that they want added convenience in retail, not forced restrictions. In the dozens of other states that have torn down their liquor walls, none have gone back to the old system.
In a last-minute attempt to try and defeat this legislation, some groups opposing the bill have turned to misinformation as the last tool in their toolbox. As a coalition representing hundreds of thousands of hard working Floridians, it’s time for us to address the facts behind their fiction on Senate Bill 106.
- The truth is, when surveyed, less than 6% of minors who drink say they got their alcohol from a retail establishment. (Source: SAMHSA, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2006-2015)
- A survey of recent violations for selling to minors in Florida showed that, since 2012, liquor stores and convenience stores have been cited 192 times. Not one large retailer or grocery store has been cited for selling to a minor. (Source: DBPR Administrative Case Actions 2012-2016)
- In states with no wall and similar regulatory structures, large retailers, on average, hold less than 10% of the available liquor licenses and independent liquor stores are still thriving.
- This legislation does nothing to affect Florida’s current licensing quota system. Retailers that already possess a liquor license will be able to move spirits inside their main store, next to the beer and wine many already sell. Not a single new liquor license will be created. This bill is about retail customer convenience, plain and simple.
Signing this legislation into law sends a message to businesses around the country that Florida is open for business for companies big and small and that free market principles are alive and well in the Sunshine State.
We encourage Governor Scott to let free enterprise thrive by signing SB 106 into law.
Floridians for Fair Business Practices is a coalition of retailers and business groups whose purpose is to identify rules and regulations, which prohibit the growth and expansion of Florida businesses. For additional information, please visit www.FairBizinFlorida.com.