(COLORADO SPRINGS) — For some, Proposition 126, which would pave the way for direct-to-customer liquor distribution, has been a long time coming.
“It’s very convenient, easy, and it specifically helps the bottom line and helps the small restaurateur,” said John Jaramillo, president of the Hispanic Restaurant Association.
Proposition 126 would allow third parties to deliver alcohol from any type of restaurant or retail establishment.
“Somehow the level playing field is level,” Jaramillo said. “Open the door to the competition that we all support. Because right now you have to be for the bigger restaurants that can afford the employee, auto liability insurance, all of those things.
Those in favor of him said it gave an extra boost to small restaurants that may have suffered from the pandemic.
“Our mission statement is to advocate on behalf of the Hispanic Restaurant to open and operate restaurants effectively and efficiently. And effectively and efficiently means providing additional avenues or sources of income for them to operate in the long term,” Jaramillo said.
With the combination of Propositions 124, 125, and 126, small liquor stores said this could be the perfect storm to do major damage.
“My family has been in this business since the early sixties,” said Josh Robinson, co-owner of Argonaut Wine & Liquor. “And, that would be such a dramatic shift in market forces, that I don’t know how we would adjust, to be honest.”
Business owners said the proposal would eliminate protections by adding a third party such as Uber Eats, Door Dash or Instacart.
“There are states where they’re already allowed to do that kind of selling,” Robinson said. “And it’s been shown time and time again that they don’t do it responsibly.”
Robinson said companies that do their own deliveries train their drivers on how to check IDs and how not to sell to people who are already intoxicated.
“We spend a lot of time and effort making sure we sell responsibly,” Robinson said. “And, you know, some of these mega-corporations, you know, won’t spend the time and effort that we put into making sure they’re selling responsibly.”