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The New Jersey Licensed Beverage Association, Inc.

 

“Representing the on-premise licensed beverage retailers, the heart of the hospitality industry”

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President’s Message
By FRED BARNES

OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR-ELECT CHRISTE

A lot of lip service has been uttered praising the importance of the small business community. Small businesses create jobs and keep people working. Small businesses pay more then their fair share of taxes and fees. Small businesses are the economic engine that keeps New Jersey strong.

With an anticipated budget short fall of over 8 billion dollars, government will be looking for new revenue to satisfy the mandatory constitutional requirement of balancing the budget for the next fiscal year. The bottom line of the small business community can not sustain any more taxes or fees. The destructive domino effect that tax increases creates influences the entire business environment.

Last year, the state raised the excise tax taking more money out of the hands of small business. There is talk of raising the excise tax on the Federal level. Healthcare reform as proposed can only raise the cost of doing business.

Many business owners will have to revise their thinking to overcome this new cost. No one knows how “cap and trade” will affect business.

The hospitality industry has been badly damaged by legislation and regulation over the last several years. Even though NJLBA warned that lowering the BAC to .08 would frighten customers from on-premise establishments, that legislation was passed and it did chase customers. The banning of smoking in the workplace forced many long established businesses out-of-business. The prospect of ignition interface devices on automobiles of first time offenders will drive more people out of the bars and taverns.

In order to survive, the on-premise industry needs new ideas and new forms of entertainment to bring patrons back to the retail tier of the industry. Regulations should be re-examined to determine if they are needed or if they are stifling entrepreneurs. Revenue generating business practices should be encouraged. No new taxes should be proposed.

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