(WBNG Binghamton) New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday announced the launch of a one stop shop that is designed to provide New York’s wine, beer, and spirits producers with a single point of government contact for assistance regarding regulations, licensing, state incentives, and any other questions or issues facing the industry.
According to a news release from Cuomo's office:
The one stop shop was created as a result of suggestions made during Governor Cuomo’s Wine, Beer, and Spirits Summit held in October 2012. At the Summit, beer, wine, and spirits manufacturers and wholesalers raised concerns about the number of different state agencies that they must deal with not only to go into business, but to stay in compliance. These businesses, many of whom are small and do not retain attorneys on a full time basis, often do not know what agency they must deal with for a particular issue and therefore can at times be unnecessarily subject to avoidable fines.
To address this issue, the one stop shop provides the industry with a single point of contact and place to call for assistance. Designated staff from the agencies involved in regulating manufacturers and licensees will coordinate with the one stop shop to respond to inquiries, host educational and training programs, and resolve problems. A website (http://esd.ny.gov/NYSBeverageBiz.html) has been launched for industry members to contact the one stop shop. In addition, the website provides a single list of incentives, grants, loans, and special permits available to beverage producers through many different state agencies. Also included on the website is a special FAQ section, which provides immediate answers to some of the most common industry related questions and will be updated on a continuing basis.
"Over the past two years, we have sought to transform state government into an entrepreneurial government that is a true partner to the private sector and can help facilitate innovation, industry growth, and job creation," Governor Cuomo said. "The Wine, Beer and Spirits summit brought together industry leaders and state government officials in one room to discuss the difficulties facing our state's beverage producers and to find new ways for the state to reduce barriers and support the industry's growth. With this one stop shop, the days when our state's beverage producers have to navigate a complicated bureaucratic process to find answers to their questions are coming to an end. The New NY supports and invests in our niche industries, and that is what this new service is all about."
The one stop shop will be staffed by representatives from state agencies involved in regulating and supporting the industry, including the State Liquor Authority, Department of Agriculture & Markets, Tax and Finance Department, Labor Department, Department of Environmental Conservation, Health Department, Transportation Department, State Energy Research and Development Authority and New York Power Authority. Empire State Development established and will maintain the one-stop.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams, said, "We are pleased to launch the one-stop shop for the wine, beer, and spirits industry. These businesses, many of whom are small and do not have access to additional resources to assist in the process, do not know what agency they must deal with for a particular issue and therefore can be unnecessarily subject to avoidable fines. Together, with our partners in state government and the beverage industry, we have been able to launch a comprehensive, easy to use website that will help businesses ensure they are compliant."
Jim Trezise, President, New York Wine & Grape Foundation, said, "The one stop shop is a tremendously valuable resource for the grape and wine industry, as well as other farm-based beverages such as beer, spirits and cider. The vast majority of New York producers are small, family-owned businesses run by law-abiding citizens who certainly don’t have in-house legal counsel and limited resources for outside attorneys. So this one-stop shopping service for many different kinds of legal and regulatory questions will save them time and money while also helping to ensure that they abide by the law—and it will let them focus on making great local products, building their businesses, and contributing to New York’s economy. This bold initiative puts New York ahead of other states, and we are very grateful to Governor Cuomo for creating it."
Julie Suarez, Director of Public Policy for NYFB, said, "Local farmers are finding more opportunities to grow and market added value agricultural crops because of the tremendous growth in the farm based beverage sector. Increasingly, consumers are searching for locally based beverages, and the emphasis on local helps our farm wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries find new ways to market their farm products. Governor Cuomo’s creation of a one-stop shop is an excellent example of the great regulatory streamlining progress that has been made under his Administration, and New York Farm Bureau is extremely supportive of this new venture."