Government shutdown preventing local business from opening

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Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist - Mike Spissinger

PADUCAH, Ky. - When John Ingram and Denise Story decided to open a distillery in Downtown Paducah nine months ago, they had no idea a government shutdown would stand in their way.

It took four months to get through filling out the complicated applications, but two weeks ago their diligence paid off and they received their federal permit and their state license. 

"We're all set except for one little thing," said Ingram. "The federal government, after they give you the license to distill, they want to see your labels."

Until the labels are approved, selling their product is illegal.

"If it wasn't for the government's problems, we would be in business now," he said. "We'd be selling."
Instead, they're putting the finishing touches on their shop, and have started to distill their whiskey.

They're even allowed to give out free samples, but it usually take 30-40 days under normal circumstances for federal label approval so it could be weeks before the Jefferson Street Whiskey Company can start selling. 

"The longer they sit, the longer we sit."

Ingram isn't used to sitting and doing nothing so he's also starting up his side project. He said since they started setting up shop in the old building, Paducah residents have started stopping by and sharing stories with him. To help preserve the history, Ingram is going to set up a camera and allow people to tell their stories on the record, for free. He and his workers will catalog and keep them and may even play them on televisions in the shop. He told Local 6 he'll be ready to record next week and encourages anyone who has a story to tell to simply stop by.

For more information about the Jefferson Street Whiskey Company, click here.

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