Welcome back to the Saturday Side Bar, the alcohol-infused progeny of the Saturday Side Hustle and small business blog for licensed purveyors of the beverages so many enjoy. I hope everyone had an enjoyable summer, and those of us who just sent the kids back to school, let’s raise our glasses extra high in appreciation for the regularity of our educational calendars. Twice.
I have young children, the oldest of which began middle school this year. I remember that transition being a real adventure. He seems to be enjoying it. All of this made me start to wonder what effect the school year has on alcohol sales, if any, for parents. I wonder this mainly because the school year, at least for me, tends to bring with it a structure in the schedule that has a stress-reducing effect. I think that’s because I don’t think like I need to be with them all day to feel confident that they’re doing OK because they are in school learning. It’s hard to determine, despite the wealth of information out there, whether this is true, and I’m sure it depends on where you are in the world. If anyone has any resource they want to share about this, feel free to comment or email me.
I do know, however, that there is a new development in the industry that has been getting a lot of attention throughout the summer. That would be the decision of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) lifting its ban on alcohol sales at college sports stadiums and arenas, leaving it to the schools to decide. The ban had been in place for over 30 years, with some exceptions for luxury boxes and the like. I wonder what led to this shift in policy? Well, not really.
The SEC schools are not the first to make the same shift in policy, and according to various reports I’ve read, not only has revenue increased (millions), but the number of alcohol-related incidents of violence and other unpleasantries associated with fans who decided to overdrink before they set foot in the stadium so they didn’t have to worry about not being served for three hours has declined. In all fairness, the last half of that statement is an educated guess on my part and probably a half-truth, but most of you probably know what I mean.
What is being published on the topic leads me to wonder whether this theme doesn’t apply more broadly to geographies and types of establishments in general. For example, what correlation exists between the restrictiveness of local alcohol controls and various types of alcohol-related problems? Is the relationship positive or inverse? What effect does availability have on purchase patterns, and what effect to those purchase patterns ultimately have on consumption patterns?
We’ll tackle these and other topics as we go through various types of regulatory considerations applicable to businesses who sell or serve alcohol in the coming months. Let’s start with the various classes of licenses and their origins.
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Scott Lloyd is a registered patent attorney who specializes in intellectual property counseling and commercialization work. He has served as a technology commercialization specialist and advisor to companies in a diverse array of markets, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food and beverage, specialty chemicals, technology, and engineering. In addition, Mr. Lloyd spent ten years as in-house general counsel to small and mid-sized companies, where he managed corporate matters and resolved commercial disputes in addition to intellectual property strategy, and now serves in the same capacity for entrepreneurial clients. He serves as counsel to small and mid-sized business owners seeking to implement growth strategies and succession plans.
While in house, Mr. Lloyd has also contributed to the successful formation of international affiliates of domestic businesses as well as a $400,000,000 business acquisition.
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