Monday, August 8, 2011

My licence saga

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.


Mary Pawle said...

I have been hearing the same story from quite a significant number of my customers. I looked into the matter for some of them who felt that surely there must be some mistake, and I came upon an amount of contradictory information and vagueness. What it amounts to in reality is that once again the smaller business will be the ones to suffer due to being issued with an incorrect licence in the first place. They have been selling wine to complement the range of foods that they stock and would need to sell a significantly larger quantity of wine to make back this extra €2,000. Some of these shopkeepers have now decided not to renew their licence and to discontinue stocking wine. That's another nail in the coffin, so much for helping small enterprises!

firstpress said...

Absolutely true. There is a small one room country store near me. It sells everything that might come in handy. It's a really useful place. Its also the sort of place that has been selling small amounts of wine for years now. No longer. Are we now to believe that the next nearest store that can afford the €2000 has been deemed to be more useful by Revenue. This messing around with the Licence is discriminatory, insensitive, favours large operations and will lead to a bleaker retail landscape.

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