Scaring business away

Published 3:00 pm Tuesday, February 17, 2009

During these tough economic times, the last thing anybody would want to do is discourage businesses from coming to Shelby County, right?

Tell it to the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

The ABC Board’s decision to force restaurant owners to choose between a retail restaurant license and a private club license will, at best, hurt businesses around the county and, at worst, drive them away.

Businesses close to the border between Jefferson County and Shelby County will likely be hurt most, as their competitors over the county line can freely offer alcohol any day of the week.

We’d be more understanding about this unsavory choice if we understood exactly what the ABC Board’s goal is.

Do they want to abolish alcohol sales on Sunday? If so, this interpretation of the law doesn’t accomplish that goal.

Do they want businesses to be able to sell alcohol on Sundays? Once again, the ABC Board isn’t helping accomplish that goal.

The restaurant owners made investments in their restaurants based on the ABC Board’s rules. Those owners obtained both licenses and worked hard to follow guidelines.

Now, they’re being penalized for choosing to offer their services in this county. That’s costly both for business owners and, in the long run, for citizens of Shelby County.