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Phoenix-Area Businesses Reeling After To-Go Alcohol Sales Ruled Illegal

Phoenix-area businesses are reeling after a recent court ruling overturned an executive order aimed at helping them weather the pandemic. 

On Monday, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled that Gov. Doug Ducey broke the law when he instructed officials not to enforce state liquor laws, permitting restaurants to sell to-go alcohol.

Ducey signed the executive order earlier this year to give restaurants a boost as sales were decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thomas Barr, executive director of Local First Arizona, says the order was a lifeline for small businesses. 

“They are operating on razor thin margins right now," Barr said. "They have lessened staff. They need options to grow revenue and to grow sales right now and this is just really devastating for them.”

Barr said restaurants only had a few hours to react to the ruling.

"There was no time to plan. There was no time to come up with a different solution," he said. "It really is pulling the carpet out from underneath them." 

Barr says the next state Legislature could change the law and allow to-go sales, but in the meantime local businesses will need the support of consumers more than ever to get by.

Get The Latest News On COVID-19 In Arizona 

Jimmy Jenkins was a producer and senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2014 to 2021.