Bills aimed at providing restaurants relief headed to state Senate, unanimously passed by House

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — This week, the state House of Representatives passed two bills aimed at helping the restaurant industry recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The legislation would give more discounts and leeway to owners figuring out how to rebuild business.

More vaccines and less restrictions have certainly helped, but many people’s favorite restaurants barely survived the pandemic.

In addition to ongoing grants and loans, this is one of the latest efforts to keep doors open.

House Bills 425 and 427 were passed unanimously.

425 would allow an establishment with a license that’s either closed permanently or temporarily to sell its liquor or wine to another licensee. The goal is to help those forced to close their doors make up for losses and possibly open again in the future.

427 would increase the discount licensed establishments get from state stores when purchasing liquor products. It would go from 10% to 15% for three years.

The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association says the industry has been in survival mode and this legislation is key in turning the corner.

“Let’s say they purchase about $50,000 worth of liquor every year, which most of my members, that’s where they would be about,” said Chuck Moran, the executive of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. “So that would save them about $2,500 a year, times three years so that’s a $7,500 savings. It’s not much, but it’s one piece of the puzzle.”

The association says it’s working with lawmakers on other pieces of that puzzle, like legislation that would let restaurants keep their taxes, instead of giving them to the state, for a certain period of time.

House Bills 425 and 427 now head to the state Senate.

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