Rebimbas talks shop with distributors

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State Rep. Rosa Rebimbas (R-70) talks with Jack Neller, of Dwan and Company, Inc. of Torrington, after an Oct. 24 meeting with Connecticut beverage distributors to discuss state policies and ideas to make small businesses more viable in Connecticut. CONTRIBUTED

HARTFORD – During a morning meeting Oct. 24 at Rogo Distributors in East Hartford, State Rep. Rosa Rebimbas (R-70) met with about a dozen beverage distribution executives to learn about their operations and to understand the challenges they face operating in the state.

As the ranking House member of the General Law Committee, Rebimbas has and continues to reach out to businesses both locally and across the state to learn the needs of small employers first-hand.

“Today’s meeting was very productive and highlighted the difficulties certain state laws place on small businesses throughout Connecticut,” Rebimbas said in a prepared release. “Sometimes a small change results in a large disruption that causes more harm than good. I am committed to finding workable solutions to help Connecticut employers thrive while at the same time balancing the needs of everyone in our state.”

After the hour-long meeting to discuss the impact of current state law on the distribution business, and proposals for more business friendly legislation during the upcoming session, Rebimbas, joined by state Sen. Kevin Witkos (R-8), ranking Senate member of the General Law Committee, toured the facility.

According to the release, the distributors said they appreciate the state’s efforts to curb underage drinking and the system of distribution territories, which keep order but allow for competition. But, the release stated, they disagreed with a recent change in the law that allows almost anyone to sign for and accept a delivery. They said previous law demanded use of a rubber stamp that included the retailers permit number, which was just as efficient and prevented loss while also preserving accountability.

“The issue of a stamp instead of just a signature showing receipt of an order will clearly define who has the authority to accept a shipment and reduce the likelihood of theft, which forces increased costs at the retail level that may get passed on to the consumer,” Rebimbas said in the release. “It’s an issue I will certainly explore before the next session begins in January.”

Other topics discussed included the bottle return bill and the process of transferring liquor licenses for retailers trying to avoid paying for outstanding delivery debts.