Michigan Liquor Control Commission Instates New Rule
The oppressive rule puts Michigan bars and restaurants at a competitive disadvantage.
LANSING, MI – Yesterday, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) announced their plans to start the rule change process that prohibits bars and restaurants from utilizing logoed items like glasses, coasters and napkins, also known as the Secondary Use Rule. If the rule is rescinded, bar and restaurant owners will be able to buy these items for their establishments. Currently, Michigan is the only state in the nation that prohibits this common marketing practice.
“We’re happy to see the MLCC also views this rule as archaic and sees the need for it to be changed. When 75 percent of the state’s population thinks bars and restaurants should be able to use these items and express a desire to use them, we know the MLCC is doing what’s best for Michigan’s small businesses. We commend Chairman Andy Deloney for listening to the thousands of family-owned businesses affected by this outdated rule,” says MLBA Executive Director Scott Ellis.
The MLBA represents thousands of family-owned small business owners and views the rule change as a positive move for its members.
“It’s not fair that small business owners have to contend with the wholesalers’ stranglehold on our industry,” says Rick Swindlehurst, MLBA President and owner of three establishments in Mt. Pleasant. “Rescinding this rule will bring equality and much needed competitive relief to Michigan’s bars and restaurants. Many of our members operate near state borders where an unfair advantage exists for competing businesses just across the state line. I still don’t see [the wholesalers’] side of the argument. Why is Michigan different than 49 other states? Is there something we don’t know?”
This unanimous MLCC recommendation comes on the heels of Senate Bills 504 and 505, introduced by Senator Joe Hune (R-Hamburg Township) on behalf of the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers, which aim to usurp the role of the MLCC and turn this anti-competition rule into a law and permanently ban these items from public use. The legislation seeks to ignore the Office of Regulatory Reinvention report and remove the authority that the commission has held since its creation in 1933.
“We’re glad the Commission moved forward with a key component from the ORR recommendations. Governor Snyder’s office continues to provide leadership for Michigan’s competitive turnaround and he was outspoken in his support of these recommended changes in the ORR report. We look forward to continuing working closely with the MLCC, LARA and the Governor’s office on this issue,” says Ellis.
SOURCE: MLBA Press Release