DENVER (KDVR) — This year’s statewide ballot is a busy one. There will be nine ballot questions for Coloradans, three were placed there by state lawmakers and six landed on the ballot after citizens collected enough signatures to put them there. Three of the six citizen initiatives all involve alcohol.
Voters will decide the fate of third-party deliveries of wine and liquor, if wine should be sold in grocery stores and if retail stores should be able to hold more liquor licenses. We spoke to some people in the community about the potential impact of all three questions.
It is not uncommon for small businesses to be worried about measures on the statewide ballot but this year in Colorado, certain businesses are worried about three at the same time.
The sale of wine could be coming to grocery stores in Colorado this November. A ballot initiative will ask voters if grocers who already sell beer should be able to add wine to that list, but not liquor.
“I think that putting it in the grocery stores is a good idea because it’s just much more convenient,” Denver resident Diana Roth said.
That’s not all, there is another initiative looking to make alcohol consumption more convenient too.
Voters will decide if third-party delivery providers like DoorDash, Uber Eats and Grubhub can make home deliveries of liquor and wine.
“Oh, I think that’s perfect because you don’t have to go out if you’re low on your wine, you can just have it brought to you,” Roth said.
Not everyone feels that way.
“Colorado lawmakers have rejected this idea many times when they come as a bid to the statehouse but now they are trying to circumvent that and go for a ballot measure in the November election. So we now will be counting on the people,” Alem Syoum said.
Syoum is the owner of Hoffman Heights liquor in Aurora and he is worried about the impact both of the initiatives could have on his business.
Additionally, there is a third initiative. This initiative would expand the number of liquor licenses a retailer can hold. Right now, they can only have three at one time.
Syoum believes this measure, backed in part by the founders of Total Wine, would lead to a major expansion of chain retailers and suffocate small businesses.
“The other corporations are coming from Texas, California, they are owned by mega-corporations. They are trying to have chain stores which will kind of devastate all the 1,600 liquor stores owned by families and individuals in Colorado,” Syoum said.
Some shoppers said small businesses are a part of the fabric of Colorado and they worry about the initiatives impacting the state’s identity.
“It seems like all the people who are from California want things their way. If they want it their way, they should go back to California and leave us alone,” Bob Irving of Aurora said.
With less than two months before the election, the small businesses said they are focused on educating the community about the initiatives between now and Nov. 8.