OK of alcohol delivery brings relief for Augusta businesses

COVID-19, GRA News, Alcohol, Augusta,

Source: WRDW Augusta

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has signed a bill allowing stores to deliver beer, wine and liquor to Georgia homes.

And for some local businesses in Augusta, that could bring some relief.

“We’ve had out good days and our bad days just like all the other businesses during the pandemic,” Mike Cillo said.

Cillo is the assistant manager at Augusta Liquors, and he says the governor's bill could certainly help local businesses.

“If it does become an available option for us, we would definitely look into it,” he said.

Kemp signed the bill on Monday night, allowing licensed retailers to deliver alcohol to homes in Georgia. Cillo thinks this could allow businesses to help customers to feel comfortable, while increasing revenue.

"We try to serve our community and our customers to the best of our abilities," he said. "Offer them services that give them an opportunity to be able to feel safe and comfortable."

The bill states the packages cannot be left on the front porch, and delivery drivers will always have to check the buyer's ID.

This bill is something another local restaurant says it’s been pushing for.

“I’m on the board with the Georgia Restaurant Association and this is a bill that we helped to get pushed through,” said Havird Usry, partner in Fat Man’s Hospitality.

He also says people just aren't dining the same anymore.

“Take-out and delivery is how we’re surviving right now.”

And with Kemp extending his executive order, Usry thinks this is an outlet for companies to sell more products.

"It allows us to take inventory that we already have and then also turns some dollars there and be able to deliver to folks homes."

And for Cillo, he says he's just happy to still be working right now.

“We are blessed and thankful that we were considered essential and we could stay open,” he said.

It could take several months before home deliveries begin around the state. The Department of Revenue says it will have to draw up some regulations before stores can start delivering alcohol to homes.