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New York retail liquor hours extended

Governor Kathy Hochul has signed off on a batch of alcohol laws to ease the burden on small businesses, including extending the duration of an alcohol license for companies from one year to three, and permitting liquor stores to open earlier on Sundays.

Under the new legislation, the retail sale of alcohol on Sundays will be permitted from 10 am to 10pm. Under previous state law, liquor stores were not able to open until midday and had to cease selling alcohol at 9pm.

Pointedly, the new rules now match the hours for which restaurants and bars in New York have been permitted to sell alcohol since 2016, thus levelling the playing field.

Furthermore, the new laws also extend the duration of a company’s liquor license from one year to three years.

Businesses will be allowed to prepare and keep drinks containing alcohol in pressurized dispensing machines and retail stores will now be able to offer complementary gifts and promotional items related to wine and spirit sales.

“Across New York, breweries, distilleries and other alcoholic beverage businesses are creating jobs and expanding economic opportunity,” Governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement.

“I’m proud to sign this legislation that will modernize the laws governing the sales of alcoholic beverages in New York.”

However, a bill to allow the sale of wine in supermarkets looks unlikely to be passed. New York State’s liquor store owners, who have long held the market monopoly, insist this would be bad for business.

Despite 40 other US states allowing wine on supermarket shelves, Senator Liz Krueger of District Manhattan) said:

“I don’t believe we’ll get it done this year. In fact, I know we won’t get it done this year.”

Krueger added: “But I’m hoping that New Yorkers will take a look at our whole approach to how and where we sell different kinds of alcohol and say, ‘This doesn’t really make sense anymore’.”

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