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Sunday sales to start soon

Less than a month before Sunday package-alcohol sales become legal in Richmond Hill, it’s not really known what the economic or workplace impact will be.

All that is known so far is that Richmond Hill voters emphatically said they wanted the law in place. The referendum to allow businesses to start selling package alcohol on Sundays in the city passed 198-67 on Nov. 3.

It certainly didn’t take long for Southern Spirits to make its intentions known. A post on its Facebook page dated Nov. 4 said, “The people of Richmond Hill have spoken. Soon we will be open on Sundays.”

Jeff Nielsen, owner of Jeff’s Beverage, said the vote result didn’t come as a surprise to him. He said Richmond Hill has needed this for a while, with surrounding areas being able to sell on Sundays.

Sunday sales became legal in January in unincorporated parts of Bryan County, while Chatham County began Sunday package sales in 2012, according to that county’s website.

“As far as the (Richmond Hill/Bryan County Chamber Of Commerce) goes, considering neighboring Chatham County already has Sunday package-alcohol sales, the passage of Sunday package sales for Richmond Hill businesses at least puts them on a level playing field with their competitors only a few miles away. The Chamber always encourages and supports local business,” Chamber Executive Director Brianne Yontz wrote in an email.

Nielsen said the new process will be played by ear at his locations. Some Sundays, such as Easter and other holidays, they won’t be open.

“It’s going to be a learning curve,” he said.

Last month, when asked by the News how many retailers were planning to have Sunday sales, City Manager Chris Lovell said the city had only been approached by one business at that time. However, he anticipated many businesses would take part. He also said it was too soon to tell what the economic impact would be.

Richmond Hill wasn’t the only city in South Georgia on Election Day to welcome Sunday package-alcohol sales.

The Effingham Herald reported that Guyton voters approved Sunday sales 161-134. Portal passed its own referendum 93-57, according to the Statesboro Herald. And the Moultrie Observer reported that voters in Doerun passed their referendum by three votes.

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