Bradley observed that an influx of liquor stores would certainly boost the revenue the city makes off of alcohol sales, thus far they’ve been fairly healthy anyway. From the time the first beer was sold in mid-September, the city has been able to collect two month’s worth of data, which is available on the city’s website (www.cityofsomerset.com).
By the end of October, total alcohol sales in Somerset had reached $1,240,515, and that month saw an increase of nearly $300,000 over September as more alcohol retailers trickled in. As for the money pocketed by the city via the regulatory fee collected on alcohol sales, the number grew by over $10,000 from September to October, for a total of $47,136.46.
“I don’t know that I’m shocked,” said Bradley, “but (the numbers are) pretty high.”
Given that the city doesn’t receive any revenue information until the 15th of a given month, the available data is two months behind, said Bradley. More recently-opened businesses, like the Captain’s Lounge in Somerset, the first actual bar in town, are expected to make the above figure jump noticeably in future reports.
“Anything new, especially when it’s by the drink — and we don’t have a ton of that right now — will boost the revenue,” said Bradley. “When we get the package stores, it will be a completely different market.
“With beer sales, you kind of get an initial burst (of sales), and then as there’s more to come on board, the sales spread out among different places,” he added. “As you add on different types of locations, that means more (rises in revenue).”
Bradley said that “there’s been pretty good turnover” in stores so far, and “without seeing a lot of change in the negative activity, (alcohol business) seem to be pretty good.”
Businesses have been cooperating with fee collection and other city regulations, he noted.
“Everybody seems to want to do what’s right and please everybody pretty well,” said Bradley. “I hope it continues.”
And is he as hopeful about hearing about the liquor package licenses in January, at least?
“It’s pretty early in the month,” said Bradley, “so I could be optimistic.”