SPRINGFIELD – With more than 150 wineries statewide, Illinois is a leader in wine operations. To offer financial relief to struggling makers, State Senator Rachelle Aud Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) advanced legislation to lower licensing fees for first-class manufacturers.

“Wineries are unique small businesses servicing communities throughout the entire state,” Crowe said. “By re-implementing the previous licensing fees, we can offer financial support to wine operators as they work to bounce back following pandemic-related burdens.”

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In partnership with the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association, Crowe’s measure lowers the licensing fees for first-class wine manufacturers to $750 if renewed online and $900 for initial or non-online certification. Under a law passed in 2021, the fees were raised to $1,200 if renewed online and $1,500 for initial licenses and non-online.

“Wineries in Illinois offer diverse experiences, but the industry endured similar hits during the pandemic due to a business model built almost exclusively on social visits, tastings and in-person sales,” Crowe said. “Wineries play a critical role in developing local economies and tourism, and I will continue to explore initiatives to help producers grow their operations.”

Senate Bill 1001 as amended passed the Senate Executive Committee and moves before the full Senate for further consideration.

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