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The Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce (NCCC) is joining with local merchants and liquor and wine shop owners in opposition to Governor Paterson's budget proposal which would allow the sale of wine at grocery stores, supermarkets, mini-marts, gas stations, delis and bodegas. The NCCC's and its members support existing laws allowing the sale of wine only in liquor stores.

(Back row, from left) Robert Napoli, Simply Wine & Liquor in Jericho; Jeff Sanders, Last Store on Main Street; Donald Kumm, Five Towns Wine & Liquor; Joe Pascual, ACE Wine & Spirits in Merrick; David Kang, MAB Wines & Spirits in East Meadow, Verander Lund, Lund Wines & Liquors in Greenvale, (front row, from left) Bobbie Polay, executive director of Port Washington Chamber of Commerce; Ed Wassmer, Young's Fine Wines & Liquors in Manhasset; Richard and Marilyn Howland, Main Street Wine & Spirits in Port Washington; E. Christopher Murray, president of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce; Francesca Carlow, Trio Hardware & Paint in Plainview and Dr. Sona Lund, Lund Wines & Liquors in Greenvale.

"Governor Paterson's proposal will put local wine and liquor retailers at a competitive disadvantage. Many local shops will close or business owners will be forced to layoff or reduce staff. Our Chamber's mission is to support Nassau County's small businesses and keep the region economically strong. This ill-conceived and harmful proposal will only impact business owners and communities negatively. Do we need to see more empty shops in our downtowns and on main streets?" said E. Christopher Murray, president of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce.

The more than 50 local chambers of commerce who represent more than 6,000 businesses in Nassau County are united in their opposition of Governor Paterson's proposal. Proposals like this don't take into account the devastating impact they will have on neighborhood business owners and the fabric of local suburban communities. This proposal will facilitate the closure of Nassau County small businesses and in the long run will reduce sales taxes, income taxes, payroll taxes and other taxes that the state is already receiving.

"I can't imagine how our business would survive if this proposal were to be enacted," said Richard Howland, owner of Main Street Wine and Spirits in Port Washington and member of the NCCC. "Wine sales account for over 75 percent of our overall sales. We pay over $35,000 in taxes every year, and we are sure that this law will have a devastating effect on our business and businesses across the state. With anywhere from 5 to 25 more competitors in our community alone, we will be unable to compete."

The Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce represents more than 50 local chambers of commerce located across the county. More than 6,000 local businesses belong to the Council's member chambers. Information about the Nassau Council Chambers of Commerce can be found at www.nccchambers.org. For information call 396-0200.


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