A coalition of small business owners announced the launch of the Garden State Liquor Retailers’ Association (GSLRA), an organization dedicated to safeguarding the interests of family-owned businesses, particularly minority and immigrant entrepreneurs in the liquor retail industry.
On May 24, 2023, GSLRA brought a number of small business owners to Trenton for the Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee to advocate for justice, equity and the preservation of Main Street values that contribute to the strength and vibrancy of New Jersey communities.
“Protecting and promoting the interests of our diverse membership is at the heart of what we do,” said Amrish Vakil, President of GSLRA, “By standing up for social justice, equity, and the preservation of Main Street values, we aim to create an environment where small businesses can thrive, contribute to their communities, and play a vital role in New Jersey’s economic growth.”
GSLRA will play a leading role in advocating for policies that protect Mom and Pop stores, safeguard community investments and prevent big box stores from gaining an unfair advantage at the expense of local businesses.
The GSLRA firmly supports measures aimed at maintaining the current limit of the number of liquor licenses any one individual or entity can hold. GSLRA will oppose any measure that will devalue existing licenses secured through the efforts and hard-earned investments of members and their families as well as direct shipment which poses a threat to the integrity of New Jersey’s alcohol distribution system and undermines the ability of small businesses to compete.
The organization opposes Assembly bill 1283 which would remove the plenary distribution license limit for certain stores and Assembly bill 5461 which would allow municipalities to transfer inactive alcoholic beverage retail licenses for use in redevelopment areas and allow retail distribution and seasonal consumption licenses to be converted into consumption licenses. During the Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee held on May 24, 2023, Assembly bill1283 was on the agenda for amendments only and Assembly bill 5461 was voted on and passed over the objections of local liquor store owners.
“Through education, advocacy and collaboration, GSLRA strives to foster a fair and thriving liquor retail industry in New Jersey,” said Kalpesh Maru, vice-president of GSLRA, “An industry that benefits not only its members but also local communities and the state as a whole.”
GSLRA is dedicated to serving as New Jersey’s leading business association and strong advocate representing community members directly to key decision-makers, by engaging with local elected officials and state representatives in Trenton. GSLRA will work tirelessly to amplify the voices of small family-owned businesses through media outreach and public events across the state.