New Tariffs Threaten Your Grocery Bills and Global Wine Culture

Last week, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR)  published a list  of imported goods that could be subject to tariffs of up to 100% in 2020. Items include still and sparkling wine,  Scotch , cheese, olive oil, leather goods and more.

Taxes on European wine and cheese may sound like a niche issue, but analysts believe these tariffs could have far-reaching consequences. Warehouse stockers, delivery truck drivers, retailers and hospitality professionals will see an immediate financial impact. American consumers will also feel the pinch on everything from grocery bills to anniversary dinners, and our national wine industry and culture could be dramatically altered.

Bisons' Rob Free named Chairman of New York State Restaurant Association

The New York State Restaurant Association (NYSRA) today announced the appointment of Rob Free as its chairman of the board for the year 2020. Free is currently in his 16th year with Be Our Guest Ltd. serving as Vice President, Food & Beverage for the Buffalo Bisons minor league baseball team and the Buffalo Waterfront.

Free brings with him more than 25 years of experience in the food service industry. He has worked and supervised fast-casual dining establishments, sit-down white tablecloth restaurants, chain restaurants, entertainment venue concessions, and sandwich and catering stores.

GROW Webinar Wednesday
Tips to Grow Your Drop-Off Catering Business | 1/15 at 10 a.m.

In this webinar, you will learn:
  • How food abuse will lessen your profits.
  • Why guest count or dollar amount minimums are a must.
  • How to charge what the service and product are worth.

This is a 55 minute webinar: 45 minute presentation followed by a 10 minute Q&A session.
Cost: FREE for NYSRA Members! Email Sarah at to receive the special member code.

Governor Cuomo Lays Out 2020 Agenda

On Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo held his annual State of the State address in Albany where he laid out his legislative priorities for 2020. While many of the proposals he talked about were released prior to the address, he did save some of the bigger ticket items for the speech itself.

We have outlined some of the more important items to give you a snapshot of key takeaways from the speech. It is important to remember that we have yet to see actual bill language for these issues, so many details remain unknown.  

Cuomo Proposes N.Y. Tax Cuts for Small Businesses, Farmers

New York small businesses would get their corporate tax rate cut almost in half, and farmers would see better tax treatment under new proposals by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D).

The plans for small businesses and farmers were among the  features  of Cuomo’s Jan. 8 State of the State address, which also included proposals for the legislature to take another shot at legalizing marijuana—with an estimated eventual revenue payoff of $300 million—and to institute “green tax credits” for environmental-related job creation and capital investments.

Critical Illness & Accident Insurance Available through NYSRA Services
In our ongoing efforts to provide members with a full range of insurance options, we offer Critical Illness & Accident insurance through The Standard. This is a meaningful benefit that can help with employee retention.

Medical insurance alone can’t stop a major diagnosis from draining an employee's finances. Copays, deductibles, alternative treatments — these unexpected expenses add up quickly.
Specified Disease insurance gives your employees an affordable option for easing the financial burden that can come with a serious illness. Under this plan, children are covered automatically at no extra cost. 

Nobody plans to have an accident — and most people don’t budget for one either. Accident insurance helps your employees pay for out-of-pocket expenses medical insurance won’t cover. If an employee’s covered child gets injured while participating in an organized sport, they will receive an additional 25 percent of the total benefit owed. It’s an affordable way for employees to make sure they can keep their financial lives moving in the right direction.

Contact Curtis Robinson for more information and to enroll.