Ten years ago, Keyur Patel was shocked when he opened his North Augusta mini mart and learned he couldn't sell alcohol on Sundays. But come Tuesday, North Augusta voters could reverse that law on Sunday sales.
"I'm not ready to open it on Sunday, but it will maybe bring a lot of people or a lot of business to North Augusta," Patel said.
Sunday sales could, more specifically, bring business back to the area. North Augusta is the last dry city in the CSRA; its patrons spending money in Augusta or Aiken who have been allowed to sell alcohol on Sundays since the beginning of the year. City leaders also say North Augusta has missed out on potential dollars coming into the area.
"For some restaurants in the industry, up to 40 percent of their business is alcohol sales," said city administrator Todd Glover. "With Friday, Saturday and Sunday being the three biggest days of the week. So removing one of those days from their possible sales, I'm sure does affect a business decision of where to locate."
According to North Augusta's sample ballot, if voters pass the referendum, North Augusta package and convenience stores could sell "alcoholic liquors," beer and wine on any days of the week at any time.
One concern if the referendum passes, is safety on North Augusta's streets, but police say the referendum won't have an impact.
"Regardless of whether it passes or not, public safety will continue to aggressively patrol the streets of North Augusta, and enforce the traffic laws," said Lt. Tim Thornton of the North Augusta Public Safety Department.
The issue is not one Patel says he's worried about. He just hopes his store, and his city can compete; adding that extra day to sell during the week.
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