Statement: PLBTA supports today’s movement of HB 1160 to help family-owned taverns, bars, and licensed restaurants
The following is a statement from Chuck Moran, executive director of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. The statement concerns HB 1160, a bill related to off-premise catering permits.
(Harrisburg, May 23, 2023) Today, the Pennsylvania House Liquor Control Committee voted to move HB 1160 out of committee. All committee members voted in favor of the measure.
This important legislation, sponsored by Rep. Napoleon Nelson, is another piece of the puzzle to help family-owned taverns, bars, and licensed restaurants, recover from lengthy COVID restrictions that financially damaged many establishments across the Keystone State.
HB 1160 would allow liquor licensees to hold an unlimited number of off-premise catering events beyond 2024. Currently, Act 87 of 2021 sunsets at the end of 2024. If allowed to sunset, the state would revert back to outdated liquor code that limits the number of off-premise catering events. Rep. Nelson’s bill removes the sunset date.
In his co-sponsorship memo Rep. Nelson wrote, “Although the Covid-19 Pandemic emergency is lessening, many of our Pennsylvania restaurants and bars are still struggling during these unstable economic times. New hurdles have appeared with raising costs due to inflation and supply chain issues along with labor shortages. We need to do all we can to help these businesses adapt and remain flexible.”
The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association, representing small business taverns, bars, and licensed restaurants across the state, agrees with Rep. Nelson and fully supports HB 1160 as written today.
The past decade has been a financially difficult one for family-owned taverns, bars, and licensed restaurants. First, the industry lost the exclusive right to sell six-packs to go, resulting in significant loss of revenue. This was followed by pandemic restrictions that closed indoor dining. Then recovery efforts were hampered by supply chain issues, inflation, and a lack of workers.
Each of these have acted as a gut punch to drinking establishments statewide. The time has come to give these small businesses hope that they can prosper and make it on their own in the future.
The PLBTA thanks Rep. Nelson for introducing this bill. The association also thanks committee chairs Rep. Dan Deasy and Rep. Mindy Fee as well as all members of the state House Liquor Control Committee for their actions today to move HB 1160.
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The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association is the statewide political voice for small business taverns and licensed restaurants. Based in Harrisburg, the Association formed after Prohibition in 1941, reorganized in 2019, and today advocates for best practices and rights within the industry as well as best experiences for patrons. To learn more, visit www.pataverns.com or follow the Association on Twitter via @TavernPA.
Earlier this year, the PLBTA produced a Tavern Talk news video about this issue and Rep. Nelson’s interest to help. You can watch that video by clicking here.