A lot of business owners might not even know about some of the types of licenses or grants available or even about the help in filling out the forms for those licenses and grants!
The Chamber of Commerce for the Isle of Wight went live to give you the skinny. And we were lucky enough to be asked to be the guest speaker! Crystal Stump was the first woman speaker on the show: “Isle Ask.” Special Thanks to Jessica Healey of “Isle Ask” and Nicole Talton of Economic Development and Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce for pulling this all together! What a great opportunity for ABC Consulting to explain to small business what we can do for them!
As businesses navigate through the changes in Stage I and Stage II and different allowances, it is difficult to keep up. You MUST keep up or risk non-compliance! Now, most of Virginia has moved on to being able to seat in their dining rooms – but this means changes to the what they are capable of doing and serving. So, as restaurants move from delivery service and curbside – regulations are changing. During the May Executive Order, all on-premises licensees turned into off-premises licensees. This meant that all licensees were allowed to sell wine, beer, and mixed drinks, curbside and delivery. NOTE: prior to that Executive Order only wine/beer could be sold off-premises. This has changed the way that your customer percieves your business! Now that our customers are used to driving up and picking up wine/beer with their ToGo order, they are likely going to want to continue that service. If your businesses would want to keep that licensing in place after the Executive Order is lifted, that is something that ABC Consulting can help with. We can help you obtain an off-premises license or a delivery permit. The licensing takes about 45 days, so if you are interested, apply now.
As we move through the phases, small businesses want to stand out. How can you do that? The Virginia ABC Authority does have a Day Spa (Salon) License – in order to qualify for this license, the salon must employ both massage therapists and cosmetology therapists – the licensing process takes about 45 days. This license does not allow you to SELL alcohol, but you can offer alcohol as a part of the services that you offer. And, if you cannot qualify for a permanent license, you could get a one-day Tasting License (perfect for the grand re-opening) to celebrate your day of re-opening!
A one-day Banquet license (for a wedding, for instance) is an often, sought-after license, but a newer license that many may not know about is called a Co-Working Space license. This is for office spaces that share a foyer, kitchen or have a Co-Working Space. This is a permanent license that has a 45-day approval process. Set your business apart by being able to offer a prospect a glass of wine at the meeting!
ABC Consulting also offers training for employees of businesses that serve alcohol. TOAST VA Academy is a Virginia ABC Authority approved training that is state certified and an approved seller/server training course. In fact, if your employee takes the training (and receives the certificate) within 12 months of an ABC violation, penalties can be reduced by 50%. During COVID-19, much more training has been completed as employers are trying to use time, effectively. Crystal Stump did write the training and get it approved by Virginia ABC Authority. It is very specific to Virginia – and does change, continuously – because laws and permitting change all the time. Just like laws will change as we walk through the Phases of the Executive Orders. For instance, patios are no longer going to be part of the premises license (unless a new license is applied for and granted – apply here). Businesses will no longer be able to deliver mixed beverages or sell beer and wine ToGo.
Crystal Stump is the area’s expert in all that is alcohol. Ms. Stump is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and is a wealth of information because of years of experience working for the Virginia ABC Authority and running a consulting business, (since 2009) for all that is alcohol in the state of Virginia. We are lucky to have her in Isle of Wight – she is the turn-to for any questions. ABC Consulting was created to make sure that small businesses are educated and informed and compliant. We all admire our clients that have taken a very difficult situation and tried to adapt and did better, moving forward. That is how any business becomes successful. Some are increasing seating because of a patio. It is all about attitude and creativity. Especially in Isle of Wight County – everyone is small business – everyone is creative and resilient. The Chamber of Commerce, local government and the various grants and loans available have literally saved businesses that would’ve failed without the resources, the education and support, made available. The support resources to be able to understand the applications, alone! By The Way, the Isle of Wight Grant Application goes live on Friday; the grant is up to $2,000. COVID-19 Business Operation Interruption Grant.
Recap: ABC Consulting discussed several different alcohol licenses available to businesses in Virginia: Day Spa license (for Salons and Massage Parlors), Off-Premises license (to continue Curbside and Delivery of alcoholic beverages after the Executive Order is lifted), a Co-working alcohol licenses (for spaces that share a kitchen or conference room), as well as a Tasting License (a one-day license that can be granted up to 4 times a year). Crystal also discussed how businesses have been taking advantage of our online TOAST VA training ($29.95 per certificate).
*Disclaimer: This article and its contents represent the opinions of the author only and is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice. ABC Consulting is a private consulting firm; in no way do we represent the VA ABC Authority. You should not act upon any such information without seeking qualified professional advice, based upon your situation.