Government shutdown delays opening of new North County wine business

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OCEANSIDE, Calif.  – A new wine tasting business in North County has been forced to delay its opening due to the government shutdown.

Skip Coomber is working hard to open Coomber’s Craft Wine in Oceanside. He has done everything he is supposed to as small business owner to get his new wine tasting room off the ground.  He submitted his application for a federal license through the Treasury Department’s Tax And Trade Bureau, but th4e application is now in limbo as the government shutdown moves into day 33.

‘Obviously we have to pay rent and other costs that go with opening a new location.” Coomber said.

Located in Oceanside, the 1940s-era building is still being renovated, and that will continue. All city permits and planning are in place, as is his state license. But for now, everything else is on hold.

“We are probably not going to order all of our supplies right away, as we don’t know if it’s going to be a month or six, so you can see the trickle down,” Will Burtner said.

Burtner is a restaurant consultant hired by Coomber to keep the project on track. He said hiring employees is a big problem as is the rent.

“You’re on the hook! There’s no clause in there for ‘the government shut down,'” Burtner said. “It falls on the business owner that’s renting the property.”

Other businesses that sell alcohol are also taking a hit, Burtner said.  San Diego is home to hundreds of small and large craft breweries, which rely on releasing new brews and new labels to keep competitive.

“Each of them, I would guess, has 12 to 30 different beers. Each one has to receive a COLA, or  certificate of label approval,”  Burtner said.

And once the government shutdown is over the bureaucratic backlog that has built up over the last month will delay the process again.

“That’s the thing: the longer the shutdown happens, the longer the line gets to get your case seen on top of the new ones that are stacking up the whole time,” Burtner said.

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