By KATHY BARKS HOFFMAN Read the rest of this entry »
Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm recently signed the last of two bills of a three-bill package paving the way for growth of a previous market for home-grown food products that was unexplainably subject to stricter state limitations than those limitations dictated by federal law. Previous state regulation on bidding to buy Michigan food products limited school districts to only $20,000 per year. Under the new law, that limit was increased to $100,000 per year which is the federal limit.
The aforementioned action exhibits that the legislature and governor can provide leadership in creating positive business opportunities. Unfortunately, our lawmakers and governor are inconsistent when it comes to enhancing and expanding the business environment for certain growing industries within the state. One such example was the passage of Bill 6644 in December, 2008 substantially restricting the shipment of wine by Michigan retailers directly to Michigan customers. The passage of that law will only stifle the expansion of the distribution and sale of Michigan wines and related businesses supporting the wine-making industry. The farm-to-school bill gives some hope for our state and its governmental leaders that the right decision to support business in Michigan can be made. We now need to work to make this behavior more consistent to grow Michigan’s economy.
PROPOSED LAW BANNING DIRECT SHIPMENTS BY IN AND OUT-OF-STATE WINE RETAILERS IS BAD LAW AND BAD FOR MICHIGAN
Prior to the holidays, the Michigan Legislature hustled a poorly crafted piece of legislation through the system to allegedly protect the public’s best interest by making it almost impossible for in and out-of-state wine retailers to ship directly to customers. The senate modified Bill 6644 previously passed by the House of Representatives by allowing wine deliveries by retailers to consumers but only if the product is delivered by employees of the retailer.
The Bill supporters will cite factors such as loss of state tax revenue from diminished sales by Michigan liquor distributors and without the new law, alcohol sales to minors would sky rocket out of control.
A recent article about Michigan’s House Bill 6644 as it appeared in Crain’s Business News
Alcohol bill uncorks biz concern
By Amy Lane and Nathan Skid
LANSING – When Ronnie Jamil looks at House Bill 6644, he sees some of his business in jeopardy.
From a recent email from Lois Bahle of The Suttons Bay Area Chamber of Commerce concerning how House Bill 6644 could affect two Chamber members:
As we all know, doing business in today’s economic climate is difficult at best. That’s why I’m asking you to support two of our retail members by contacting your state representative, state senator and future state representative on behalf of two of our retail members.
Congratulations to Leelanau Peninsula Winery LMawby Vineyards and Old Mission Peninsula Winery Peninsula Cellars on winning the Jefferson Cup!
“winners represent some of the most compelling wines made in America”
From an article which recently appeared in The Detroit News:
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Michigan wineries win two Jefferson Cups
Congratulations to Larry Mawby and LMawby Vineyards on 30th anniversary!
The following is an excerpt from an article which appeared in The Detroit News about LMawby Vineyards -
Thursday, December 4, 2008
L. Mawby Vineyards marks 30th anniversary
The below-referenced article from wikipedia.org projects that the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council set a goal of 10,000 acres of wine grape production and 3 million cases of Michigan-produced wines annually by 2024, which is about 10 times the current production. There will be several aspects of the service industry in the state that will be vital in supporting this growth, one of which is legal services.
In order to sustain proposed growth as reported above, wineries and wine growers will face issues similar to other businesses. Those issues include business formation, state and federal beverage licensing and permitting, financing, land acquisition, construction and design of facilities, environmental and natural resource issues, water rights, employment/worker’s compensation/OHSA issues, trademark protection, license agreements, income taxation, business succession and estate planning, and possible litigation matters.
You’ve heard of Bud Bowl, right? Well, panels of wine tasters in Ann Arbor and Columbus recently gathered to judge over 60 selected consumer-selected wines from Michigan and Ohio. It was the first purely consumer-selected judging of wines in either state and also unique by being limited to wines from grapes exclusively from Ohio & Michigan wines.
How long will Michigan residents allow special interest groups and lobbyists to continue to glutton themselves while the state’s economy spirals downward with high jobless rates and businesses closing to move to better markets? Apparently, too long.
The latest example of our elected officials lunacy and lack of understanding of basic principles that create economic growth is a proposed law to ban all direct wine shipments by in- or out-of-state retailers to consumers. Making it more difficult for Michigan businesses engaged in retail wine sales is clearly contrary to Economics 101. What’s wrong with responding to a market and demand of a product and making it competitive with an interstate commerce just like the thousands of other products that are directly shipped to consumers in and out of the state of Michigan every day? The simple answer – the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association would be forced to release its vice grip on revenues generated for its members under the protectionism principles that are the lynch pins of their lobbying and strong-arming tactics to obtain elected officials’ votes.
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