Albany mini mart owner fears loss of revenue after city commissioners’ decision

Albany mini mart owner fears loss of revenue after city commissioners’ decision

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - An East Albany business owner is worried she won’t bring in enough revenue to stay afloat.

Linda Taylor recently bought the East Residence property.

She planned to fix it up and turn it into a mini mart.

But, Albany City Commissioners denied her request last week for an alcohol license.

Now, Taylor fears she’ll soon face the repercussions of that decision.

In the fixer-upper business for 17 years, Taylor wasn’t expecting this snag in plans when trying to open a mini-mart in East Albany.

The East Side Mini Mart on East Residence Avenue.
The East Side Mini Mart on East Residence Avenue. (Source: WALB)

“To be denied alcohol is a big percentage of my sales. If I was going to make $500,000 a year, and now I’m down to barely scraping by, it’s kind of ridiculous,” said Taylor.

Taylor bought the old property at 1209 East Residence Avenue. Her goal is to fix it up and turn it into the East Side Mini Mart. Currently, it’s stocked with snacks and beverages. But, commissioners denied her request for an alcohol license.

“It could take me a long time to recover because you’re cutting me off at the knee,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s business is in enough distance away from any schools or churches. And other businesses in the area have their alcohol license. So Taylor’s question is, why not her business?

“I just don’t think another place that will sell beer will be an enhancement to the area. We just have to look at trying to preserve the whole area, East Albany, Ward II,” Jon Howard, Ward I city commissioner, said.

Howard said he can’t support another establishment that sells alcohol. A concern of many commissioners is they’re worried unsupervised kids could get their hands on it.

”It would be hard for somebody not to buy a beer and walk two blocks down the street and not crack it open. Then all of a sudden you’ve got some congregating,” said Ward IV Commissioner Chad Warbington.

Warbington shares those same concerns.

Ward I City Commissioner, Jon Howard.
Ward I City Commissioner, Jon Howard. (Source: WALB)
Ward IV City Commissioner, Chad Warbington.
Ward IV City Commissioner, Chad Warbington. (Source: WALB)

But for Taylor, who has already invested thousands of dollars to start repairing the store, she worries she won’t be bringing in enough revenue to invest in any more fixer-upper projects in East Albany.

“Another restaurant down the street that’s dilapidated. At the end of the day, we would go in and buy those buildings and/or rent them and repair them. Whatever we had to do,” said Taylor.

All six commissioners voted against the alcohol license. Mayor Bo Dorough voted for it.

Taylor said commissioners B.J. Fletcher and Matt Fuller have come out to the store and offered to help in several ways.

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