Statement: PaTaverns and Licensed Restaurants welcome change in Philly’s COVID mandates
The following is a statement from Chuck Moran, executive director of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. He comments on the City of Philadelphia adjusting its COVID mandate on the tavern and restaurant industry. The PLBTA, headquartered in Harrisburg, is the statewide political voice for family-owned taverns, bars, and licensed restaurants.
Today, the City of Philadelphia announced it would ease mandates on taverns and restaurants that require their patrons to show proof of vaccinations in order to dine in. The adjustments include a four-level tiered system based upon COVID statistics. Mandates would be reduced as COVID statistics improve.
Philadelphia’s improved COVID situation along with hospitality rules being adjusted is welcome news for both the industry and our patrons. It allows our Philadelphia Members to join their colleagues from other parts of the state that never had this type of mandate.
Unfortunately, while such mandates have good intentions to protect the health of individuals, they do come at a cost to communities that are now dealing with higher costs due to supply and workforce issues. In addition, for taverns and restaurants, Philadelphia’s mandates caused stressful scenarios, while putting establishments at a disadvantage compared to neighboring counties.
Yesterday’s report from the Independent Fiscal Office during a budget hearing in front of the state House Appropriations Committee is the proof. It helped paint a picture of the struggle the industry faces. The report showed the industry lost 30,000 employees in Pennsylvania, while also dealing with higher food and beverage supply prices and increased hourly costs of employees.
It’s time for our small business taverns, bars, and licensed restaurants to have a chance to heal their financial wounds and move closer to normalcy. The decision by Philadelphia begins that process for our Members located within the city.