TACOMA, Wash. -

Last year's auction of the former state liquor stores held a lot of promise for dozens of small entrepreneurs.

One year later, many say they are struggling to stay in business.

The News-Tribune reports that 19 months after the auction, more than 60 percent of those who bought former state stores are out of business. The Washington Liquor Store Association, which represents liquor store owners, says most of the rest are headed in that direction.

Among those stores that are still open, many owe money to the state and their suppliers.

Nearly two dozen remaining stores are in danger of losing their licenses because they owe the state fees on liquor already sold.