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Convenience Store Owners to Oppose Food and Beverage Tax

India Post, News Report, India Post News Service Posted: Dec 14, 2009

NEW YORK: Hundreds and thousands of Asian American convenience store and gas stations across the country have decided to oppose the proposed food and beverage tax under the health care reform.

A decision in this regard was taken at the fifth Annual Convention of the Asian American Convenience Store Owners Association (AACSA) in Tampa, Florida on November 21. Founded in 2005, AACSA is the apex body of the Asian American convenience stores in the US.

"We have formed an alliance with Coca Cola and Pepsi to fight against the proposed soft drink taxes of extra 3c a can and 17c on a 2 liter bottle to raise $6 billion in additional revenues to pay for the healthcare," said Satya Shaw, AACSA President.

The convention also decided to collect at least five million signatures from customers visiting convenience stores and gas stations in the next two month. "We would send these signatures opposing the proposed food and beverage tax to the US Congress," Shaw said.

"Improving health care in America is an admirable goal we support. But food and beverage taxes have no place in health care reform, particularly taxes that single out one product like juice drinks and soda," Shaw said, adding that such a tax would have an adverse impact on the business of convenience stores and gas stations; who are already hit by economic recession.

"Our business has already dropped by at least 25 percent. Such a tax, would further hit our revenue, as food and beverages are our main items of sale," Shaw said.

The fifth AASCA convention also hosted the 28th Miss Indian American pageant. Priyanka Singha from California was crowned by Bollywood actress Neha Dhupia as winner. She will represent USA in the Miss India World contest on March 27, 2010 in South Africa.

The first runner-up was Shivali Vyas, a Tampa resident and student at the University of South Florida. Second runner-up is Disha Patel from Illinois.

"Tonight, as we celebrate the 5th Annual AACSA Convention, we hope to renew the spirit of our friendship and form an even stronger bond with our members. It is our privilege to host this national pageant, bringing the beauty enthusiasts, convenience store owners and political dignitaries together on a single platform," Shaw said.

AACSA chairman Chandrakant Patel coordinated the educational symposium featuring information on store licenses, crime prevention, financing, credit card processing and high margin new products. The well-attended event attracted a large number of vendors targeting convenience store owners, AACSA administrator Paul Rock said.

"We all excited and looking forward to working together on several town hall meetings, three regional mini-conventions and, of course, the highly anticipated Sixth Annual AACSA Convention on November 20, 2010," Patel said.

AACSA is an industry trade association representing thousands of stores nationwide. It has been an advocate for the convenience retailing industry providing industry information, knowledge and connections to ensure the competitive viability of our members' businesses. The diversity of AACSA membership reflects the diversity of the convenience store and petroleum marketing industry and our commitment to developing a robust competitive environment for our members.

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