When we opened in 1999, there weren't that many shops only selling wine and there wasn't a licence available for weird shops like ours, so we were given a Wine "On" Licence which covered us to sell wine on or off the premises. We toddled along happily with this licence until this year when we were told that we had to apply for the new Wine Retailer's Off Licence.
The procedure to apply for this new licence means getting court approval. Between an ad in the paper, solicitor's fees and barristers fees we will be down over €2,000 - just to be able to apply for the licence in September!
We were in court until 3pm, listening to everyone else's tedious business. When my turn came, I had to take the stand, swear on the bible and all the rest of it, answer a few cursory questions about the business and the the judge sighed, turned to me and said "Why do the licencing people insist on making everyone's life so difficult?" And that was it.
I know the revenue had to tighten up on wine licences, but surely, for those of us who have to migrate from one licence to another, a simpler and cheaper way to do it should be made available? There will be more than us who will have to make the change, and an extra 2k is hard to find these days.
More red tape, more expense, more making life difficult for small business. As an aside, there has been a traffic warden all day on our near-empty street all day today.
Maybe the council should just start running shuttle buses to Tesco and be done with it.