PLBTA Statement: Industry Targeted Again With No Help Again; PLBTA Calls For Special Session
The following is a statement from Chuck Moran, executive director of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association, regarding Governor Wolf’s announcement today to eliminate indoor dining at taverns and restaurants as part of his COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
(Harrisburg, Pa. – December 10, 2020) The long rumored “shutdown” has now been made official by Governor Tom Wolf, in part targeting taverns and licensed restaurants by eliminating indoor dining over the holidays.
Once again, small business taverns and licensed restaurants are bearing the brunt of the mitigation order with no financial or legislative help on the horizon.
We get that the virus is contagious. We get that the number of confirmed cases and hospitalizations are increasing.
What we don’t get is why our state government has asked the industry to sacrifice so much, but continues to sacrifice the industry.
Earlier in the year, the industry heard promises from all four caucuses of grant money coming from the Pa CARES Fund. That money was instead used to balance the state budget. Unlike several bills to help the industry that he vetoed, Governor Wolf signed the budget and thus eliminated any possibility of those funds bringing relief to our struggling industry and employees.
Frustration within the industry is significant with everything that has played out, particularly when state contact tracing statistics show that less than two percent of those testing positive had been in a bar in the 14 days prior to the onset of their COVID symptoms. Statistically, these actions directed at taverns and restaurants likely cannot play any significant role in helping the Governor reduce the COVID crisis that continues, particularly while other retail establishments are not limited nearly as much and while PLCB liquor and beer sales continue to set records as house parties and holiday gatherings increase.
As our family-based industry members comply with the latest order, play their role for the good of public health, and struggle financially over the Holidays, it is time for the Governor to call a special session of the General Assembly to address the crisis within the crisis … the state’s financial abandonment of thousands of Pennsylvania’s small businesses, taverns and restaurants.
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About the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association
The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association is a statewide association based in Harrisburg, representing small business taverns and licensed restaurants in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Association formed in 1941, reorganized in 2019, and today advocates for best practices and rights within the industry as well as best experiences for patrons.