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Each week, WFAE's "Morning Edition" hosts get a rundown of the biggest business and development stories from The Charlotte Ledger Business Newsletter.

North Carolina is cracking down on illegal liquor shipments

Yanik Flowers

State regulators are cracking down on shipments of liquor to consumers in North Carolina. The ABC Commission this month sent cease-and-desist letters to several online retailers engaged in the practice, which is illegal under North Carolina state law. The Charlotte Ledger business newsletter has been following the rise of liquor shipments.

“(North Carolina Alcohol Enforcement Agency) agents went online and ordered bottles of rum and bourbon, had them shipped to ALE offices throughout the state,” the Ledger’s Tony Mecia told WFAE’s Marshall Terry in this week’s installment of BizWorthy. “One of them, for example: a $35 bottle of Bacardi Carta Negra Superior Black Rum. The shipment showed up, and they signed for them. And guess what? There was liquor that was delivered online to these ALE offices. And so they started investigating, figured out who these companies were and told them to knock it off.”

Of course, North Carolina shoppers have complained about liquor supply issues at the state-controlled booze stores over the last year or so.

“I've talked to a few of these people that order liquor online,” Mecia said. “They didn't want their names publicly printed, but they told me that that's part of it these shortages. And they said they thought it was legal. They said, "We went online, we ordered it. It said they ship to North Carolina. And the bottles arrived." So, they didn't necessarily know they were doing anything illegal. But I think some of what was driving it was the frustration with the unavailability of liquor at ABC stores.”

The Ledger also recently looked at Charlotte-area companies with the most consumer complaints, per the Better Business Bureau. Topping the list was The Charlotte Observer, with nearly 170 complaints.

“Probably the most recognizable in the top 10, besides the Observer, is Carowinds,” Mecia said. “It came in at No. 9 for complaints. Some customers were saying they didn't receive refunds that they were promised. Some of that had to do with the park's operations during COVID.”

Lastly, the Mecklenburg County towns of Pineville and Matthews are letting people “adopt” storm drains in an effort to help curb pollution.

“If you're not into streets or adopting streams, you can adopt a storm drain — give the county data on how often you're cleaning it, what kind of debris is in there,” Mecia said. “And they say that'll help the flow of water and help maintain good waterways and neighborhoods without water backing up in the streets and yards.”

You can listen to the full BizWorthy conversation above.

Support for BizWorthy comes from UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business and Sharonview Federal Credit Union.

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Marshall came to WFAE after graduating from Appalachian State University, where he worked at the campus radio station and earned a degree in communication. Outside of radio, he loves listening to music and going to see bands - preferably in small, dingy clubs.