While selling alcohol at grocery stores has made it more convenient for consumers in Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills to purchase beer, cider, and wine, from the business end, the fee to sell alcohol is pricey.
Now, the province has announced legislation that would, if passed, reduce the regulatory fee required for grocers to sell alcohol.
This price reduction would help small, independent grocers afford to have alcohol available for consumer purchase.
The regulatory fee required to sell beer, cider and wine would be reduced by $2,000 per year, representing 66 per cent in savings for qualified businesses.
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“We heard from the small business community that the fee to sell alcohol was too high for small grocers. So, we took action,” said Minister Responsible for Small Business Jeff Leal.
There are approximately 208 grocery stores authorized to sell beer and cider in Ontario. This includes 44 independent grocers that are eligible for the fee reduction.
While the new legislation introduces a fee reduction for grocers to sell alcohol, it also proposes changes for small businesses in general.
These changes include introducing a preferred procurement policy for small businesses that would help provide better access to government contracts, requiring all ministries to offset every dollar of new administrative costs to business, by removing $1.25 of old and unnecessary costs, and reviewing license and registration fees.
Perhaps the fee reduction will allow more local independent grocers to sell alcohol, increasing convenience to beer, wine, and cider for consumers.