BackgroundHave you ever wondered why some gasoline convenience stores sell alcohol and others don’t? It is not a matter of your local convenience store not wanting to offer you an expedient way to purchase beer. It is instead due to Pennsylvania having one of the most antiquated liquor laws in the country.
The ProblemA change in the state law in 2016 allowed retail gasoline convenience stores to start bidding on unused restaurant licenses, which are extremely limited in each county. The highest bidder for each available license is provided the opportunity to sell beer at one retail location. These licenses commonly sell for between $50,000 - $500,000 depending on the location due to the limited availability. The limited amount of licenses and high bidding costs prevent most retail gasoline convenience stores from being able to sell your favorite six pack of domestic or craft beer.
The SolutionA proposed change in the law would dissolve the current bidding restraints and allow your local retail gasoline convenience store to acquire the license to sell beer at reasonable cost. The proceeds from these license sales and renewal fees would go back to the state operating budget to avoid future tax increase. You as a consumer would in turn have more options available the next time you want to purchase a six pack at your local gasoline convenience store and support small businesses. The legislation is referred to as House Bill 1256 and it is a win-win for both small businesses and consumer choice.
Get Beer At Your Local C-Store
Are you a convenience store operator wanting to provide your customers with the convenience of purchasing beer at your retail location? Beer is an essential product for the small amount of Pennsylvania gasoline convenience stores that have existing licenses. The current system for obtaining licenses has significantly inflated the market for any retailer who wishes to obtain a beer license. There is a growing coalition of gasoline convenience store operators, distributors, jobbers, wholesalers, and vendors engaging in a grassroots advocacy effort to reform PA beer laws. A bill has been introduced within the state legislature (House Bill 1256) which would make the following changes to the current law.
New Legislative Proposal
- Create a new C Store License category (different from an R License)
- Establish reasonable fixed price license fee to obtain the C Store License along with an annual renewal fee
- Eliminate the 30-seat requirement for beer sales in a convenience store
- The C Store License would be limited to stores that sell motor with convenience store products
Support the GetBeerHere.org Coalition
Are you a gasoline convenience store operator, distributor, jobber, wholesaler, or vendor within the industry that wants to support this initiative? You can support GetBeerHere.org by taking the following steps:
- Share GetBeerHere.org with your customers
- Contact your local legislator to voice your support for HB 1256
- Join the GetBeerHere.org Coalition