Become a Member of PA Taverns
Preferred Vendors of PA Taverns

PA Taverns

COVID-19

By in Latest News Comments Off on Survey Results: Small Business Taverns, Licensed Restaurants Severely Damaged Due To Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Order

Survey Results: Small Business Taverns, Licensed Restaurants Severely Damaged Due To Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Order

A survey of small business taverns and licensed restaurants indicates Pennsylvania could see a significant loss of locally owned establishments from closings as a result of the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Orders.

The survey, conducted by the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association between August 25 and August 28, 2020, included 10 questions exploring financial difficulties.

Most troubling are indications that only 30 percent of the participating neighborhood-based establishments might survive the crisis. This is consistent with national surveys suggesting a possible loss of 70 percent of establishments.

In the PLBTA survey, participants were asked “Without any change to the Governor’s Order or financial assistance from the state and/or federal government, which best describes the future of your business after September 2020?”

Thirteen percent are already closed. Another five percent indicated they will close within a month, while 29 percent say they will likely close by the end of the year and 23 percent say they will likely close in 2021. Only 30 percent said they would not close.

Major layoffs and furloughs were also identified in the survey, again along the same lines as national studies. On average of those establishments participating in the survey, 13 employees per location lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19 Orders. When extrapolated across the industry, considering small business R and H license locations alone, about 109,200 Pennsylvania jobs were lost.

Financially, July 2020 proved to be troubling. The average establishment completing this survey lost $227,179 in July 2020 compared to July 2019.

Only 29 percent of the survey participants said they have not faced any cash flow problems. That suggests 71 percent have had difficulty paying bills including rent, utilities, and loan repayments.

“These results shouldn’t surprise anyone,” said Chuck Moran, executive director of the PLBTA. “When you’re limited to 25 percent indoor capacity and have seen increased expenses along with other difficulties due to state orders, you can expect a serious crisis to develop. This industry can’t sustain itself under these conditions. Changes in state restrictions along with survival and recovery financial packages are needed.”

The survey also explored other business-related difficulties including food and beer deliveries as well as supply deliveries for items such as paper products and cleaning items.

Of those participating in the survey, 89 percent were small business, single-location establishments, while eight percent were small businesses with more than one location. All own either an “R” or “H” liquor license. Three percent were clubs with club liquor licenses. No national or regional chains participated in the survey.

A total of 1,234 invitations to take the survey were sent statewide. There were 100 businesses that completed the survey during the three days. As a result, this survey has a 10% margin of error with a 95% confidence level when considering small business R and H licensees in Pennsylvania.

Working members of the media may request a copy of the results by emailing pataverns@pataverns.com. Please include your name and media affiliation.

# # #

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.

By in Latest News Comments Off on PLBTA Testimony: Pa. Senate Democratic Policy Committee Investigates COVID Impact on Taverns, September 4, 2020

PLBTA Testimony: Pa. Senate Democratic Policy Committee Investigates COVID Impact on Taverns, September 4, 2020

Below is testimony provided by John Nikoloff on behalf of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association to the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Policy Committee on Friday, September 4. The committee was investigating the impact of state COVID-19 orders on restaurants and taverns. Nikoloff is the PLBTA’s state lobbyist. In addition, he is the founder and partner in PA ERG, a lobbying firm based in Harrisburg.

 

Chairman Boscola, members of the Committee, good afternoon. I’m John Nikoloff of ERG Partners representing the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association.

Let me begin by thanking you for inviting the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association to testify today about the struggles of the industry as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and state orders. We appreciate being here to share the story of our Members and industry.

The Tavern Association represents more than 400 small business taverns, pubs, and licensed restaurants across the state. Most of our Members own “R” and “H” licenses while some may have an “E” or even a club license. For the most part, we are your local bars, taverns, pubs, and licensed restaurants. We do not actively recruit large chains, grocery stores, or convenience stores which have an R license.

In terms of business, our average Member makes a living primarily from alcohol sales. Based on our Membership studies, about 63 percent of their business is alcohol sales and 37% of sales are from food. For what it’s worth, the most popular beer served would be Bud, while the most popular mixed drink would be Jack and Coke.

Our average member employs about 16 individuals including the owner and family members. They serve less than 4,000 customers every month. If you count the chairs and barstools, throughout the Member establishments, you’ll find less than 100.

Simply put, our Members are your locally-owned, mom-and-pop neighborhood businesses.

For the sake of overall industry data, looking at the state list of active R, H and E licenses, there are about 9,400 licensees that are not grocery stores, convenience stores or large chains. These are primarily small businesses.

Knowing that my average Member employs about 16 individuals, Pennsylvania’s small business R, H and E licensees create around 150,000 jobs. And, assuming national industry data is correct, you can anticipate more than half are women, many of whom are single mothers.

This week, we wrapped up a survey of small business licensed restaurants and taverns. Our study clearly shows the struggle these establishments are having, and supports findings we’ve seen from national-level studies.

For example, on average, 13 employees per establishment lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19 Orders. When extrapolated across the industry in Pennsylvania, this likely resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the entire industry. When just considering our small business R and H license locations, the state orders likely resulted in about 109,200 jobs lost.

When you consider our average Member employs 16 individuals, and an average 13 employees lost jobs per establishment – or 81 percent, our survey also supports national studies from earlier in the crisis that estimated 81 percent of industry employees were laid off or furloughed during the crisis.

Our survey also found that without any change in the state’s COVID-19 order, 70 percent of small business licensed restaurants are either closed or facing closing in the upcoming year. In the next month, 5 percent say they will close. Another 29 percent say they will likely close by the end of the year, while 23 percent say they will likely close in 2021.

Small business taverns and licensed restaurants along with their employees need your help. And they need it sooner rather than later.

My Members really want to work at full capacity. They’re not looking for another loan. They want to put people to work and let the public decide whether or not to dine indoors while following all appropriate health and safety measures.

But, since operating at 100 percent is not going to be allowed anytime soon, they have no choice but to seek survival and then recovery help to make up for not being allowed to use their licenses at 100 percent.

With colder months ahead, outdoor seating becomes problematic. The state should allow increased indoor dining using safety protocols.

Other than increased indoor dining, we asked in our survey what could help them the most. They responded as following:

  1. State Grants for $25,000 for expenses incurred to date (6.48 on a 7.0 scale)
  2. Forgiveness of license fees and surcharges for 2020-2021 (4.75)
  3. Conversion of sales taxes collected into grants for your bar/tavern/restaurant (4.45)
  4. Increase the state wholesale discount from 10-15% (4.35)
  5. Ability to retain revenues from skill games, VGTs (3.76)
  6. Elimination of the $50 minimum for wholesale discounts (2.24)
  7. Ability to purchase spirits and wine on 30 days credit (1.97)

Very clearly, our industry is looking to the legislature to pass survival bills to include grants and license fee forgiveness. An increase in their discount at state stores would be helpful.

We recognize that this is not a partisan issue, and appreciate your support and the legislation proposed by Sens. Brewster and Iovino, Sen. Boscola and others in the last month.

Since March, these small business establishments along with their employees have been on a downward spiral. They need your help, and they need it now.

In March and April, those who remained open were just barely keeping their heads above water when allowed only to offer take-out service. Some didn’t even open, because there was no way to NOT lose money operating on sales of less than 10% of normal.

That’s ten percent of normal, with 100% operational costs in an industry where the profit margin is well below five percent.

My Members thought they were beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel as each county graduated from Red to Yellow and then to Green. While not the perfect business scenario for the industry, establishments were able to restart outdoor and indoor service with limitations, hiring staff back, generating economic activity, and helping the public begin to feel that we were moving again toward “normal.”

But, it turned out to be false hope. Governor Wolf’s order on July 15 was a setback for every tavern and licensed restaurant in the state – including the good apples who were doing everything right. It closed their bar seating, further limited indoor seating to 25 percent, and required a meal to be ordered with drinks either indoor or outdoor.

And I have to say that our Members’ frustrations have only grown because they have still not – six weeks later – seen any data that even suggests taverns and restaurants operating within the guidelines set by the Governor and Secretary Levine have been responsible for community spread of COVID-19. Instead, the general feeling is that an entire industry is being damaged beyond repair because of the perceived actions of a few bad actors which were not subjected to proper enforcement measures.

Our industry at a tipping point. Our local taverns and licensed restaurants need help if they are going to make it through this crisis and save jobs. We have separately provided a list of various state actions that might provide a lifeline to many of our drowning Members.

Thank you for the opportunity to present this testimony, and I welcome questions.

 

Pennsylvania Small Business Taverns and Licensed Restaurants Relief
and Recovery Recommendations

  1. Passage of legislation to provide grants to small business restaurants and taverns to assist with COVID-19-related business losses, and expenses including costs associated with new outdoor seating, educational expenses including trade association memberships, hand sanitizer, staff PPE, indoor separators (plexiglass installation), digital thermometers… etc.
  2. Elimination of all license fees and surcharges for liquor-related service establishments for two years, provided the establishment had previously allowed on-site consumption.
  3. Elimination of all small games of chance license fees for R, H, E, and clubs for two years.
  4. Passage of legislation providing limited civil immunity from liability for bars, taverns and restaurants that attempt, in good faith, to adhere to the provisions of the COVID-19 emergency declaration, the Governor’s 3-16-2020 COVID-19 Business Closure Order or any other executive order relating to COVID-19, or any guidance issued by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, the Department of Health or the Secretary of Health.
  5. Creation of a Small Business Tavern and Licensed Restaurant Promotion Program coordinated by both the PLCB and the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association to equal those financed for the beer, wine and spirits craft industries.
  6. Create a Liquor Licensee Specialty Council consisting of specialty associations within the industry including taverns, clubs, brew pubs, wineries, and distilleries to build future industry/state government dialogue.
  7. Permanent acceptance of mixed drinks-to-go as a business practice under the state Liquor Laws.
  8. To save money from delivery charges, allow licensed establishments the ability to pick up and deliver their own malt beverage orders, like the model followed when ordering spirits through the PLCB.
  9. Encourage outdoor seating by making the free temporary licensed premise extensions permanent at no additional cost to the licensee.
  10. Encourage outdoor seating expansion and support the entertainment industry by allowing up to 75 decibels of noise on a property line for all establishments with a liquor license, not just some.
  11. Modernize the state’s sanitation requirements to require tap cleaning once every 14 days.
  12. Cap third-party delivery charges for home delivery of meals from all restaurants and taverns.
  13. Increase discount that licensed establishments receive when purchasing liquor through state stores.
  14. Eliminate the $50 minimum purchase requirement at state stores in order for a licensed establishment to receive a discount.

 

By in Latest News Comments Off on Testimony: Industry Survival and Recovery Needs to Preserve Businesses and Jobs

Testimony: Industry Survival and Recovery Needs to Preserve Businesses and Jobs

The following is testimony presented to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Republican Policy Committee on July 28, 2020, by Jim DeLisio, PLBTA Board Member and York County Tavern Association President. Mr. DeLisio is also the owner of the Racehorse Tavern. Joining him to present was Chuck Moran, Executive Director, PLBTA. The testimony was provided as to discuss problems the COVID-19 crisis has caused for the tavern industry, and to raise awarenes of industry needs to survive.

Chuck Moran

Chairman Causer, members of the Committee, good morning. I’m Chuck Moran, executive director of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. With me is Jim DeLisio, a Board Member of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association and also President of the York County Tavern Association. Jim is the owner of the Racehorse Tavern, an independent family-run establishment in Thomasville.

Let me begin by thanking you for inviting the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association to testify today about our struggling industry as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and state orders. We appreciate being here to share the story of our Members and industry.

I’m going to start off with some general information about our Association, our Members, and our industry. Then I’m going to ask Jim to tell his story and the daily struggles that he and his employees face daily.

The Tavern Association represents more than 400 small business taverns, pubs, and licensed restaurants across the state. Most of our Members own “R” and “H” licenses while some may have an “E” or even a club license.  For the most part, we are your local bars, taverns, pubs, and licensed restaurants.  We do not actively recruit large chains, grocery stores, or convenience stores which have an R license (and many have Wine Expanded Permits).

In terms of business, our average Member makes a living primarily from alcohol sales. In fact, based on our Membership studies, about 63 percent of their business is alcohol sales and 37% of sales are from food.  For what it’s worth, the most popular beer served would be Bud, while the most popular mixed drink would be Jack and Coke.

Based upon Membership studies, our average member employs about 16 individuals including the owner and family members. They serve less than 4,000 customers every month. If you count the chairs and barstools, throughout my Member establishments, you’ll find less than 100.

Again, my Members are your locally-owned, mom-and-pop businesses.

For the sake of overall industry data, looking at the state list of active R and H licenses, there are about 9,400 licensees that are not grocery stores, convenience stores or large chains.  These are primarily small businesses.

Knowing that my average Member employs about 16 individuals, Pennsylvania’s small business R and H licensees create around 150,000 jobs.  And, assuming national industry data is correct, you can anticipate more than half are women, many of whom are single mothers.

Based on one national study from earlier in the crisis, 81 percent of these employees have been laid off or furloughed early in the crisis. We worry that with the latest state orders, many of those who returned to jobs are now almost assuredly facing another layoff.

One national research institute estimated that restaurants have only a 15 percent chance of remaining open if the crisis lasts six months. We are now four full months into this crisis, and we worry that the latest state orders will accelerate closures.

Since March, these small business establishments along with their employees have been on a downward spiral. I’ve spent many hours on the phone talking some off the edge. For the owner, their business is their retirement package. For their employees, the job they have is extremely important to keep up with their bills.

They are all scared and I can hear the panic in their voices when they call.

To give you an example of how serious the situation has become, I have one Member that I was so worried about that I gave her the phone number for the Suicide Prevention Hotline.  I get daily calls and emails telling me that members are being forced to close their doors.

My job has suddenly become that of a counselor and I literally spend hours every day listening to or responding to emails from Members who are desperate.

In March and April, those who remained open were just barely keeping their heads above water when allowed only to offer take-out service. Some didn’t even open, because there was no way to NOT lose money operating on sales of less than 10% of normal.

That’s ten percent of normal, with 100% operational costs in an industry where the profit margin is well below five percent.  Let that sink in.

Thankfully, your work to legalize mixed spirits drinks to go on a temporary basis was a lifeline that kept many afloat through that stage of the crisis. And your efforts to push for outside seating under the Yellow Phase allowed many of them to at least ride along in hopes of a resurgence of business when their counties went Green.  We thank you for doing so.

My Members thought they were beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel as each county graduated from Red to Yellow and then to Green. While not the perfect business scenario for the industry, establishments were able to restart outdoor and indoor service with limitations.

But, it turned out to be false hope. Governor Wolf’s order on July 15 was a set back for every tavern and licensed restaurant in the state – including the good apples who were doing everything right. It closed their bar seating, further limited indoor seating to 25 percent, and required a meal to be ordered with drinks either indoor or outdoor.

The impact of the Governor’s so-called “targeted” response has been negative, especially so in areas of the state with low COVID statistics. The broad brush stroke – at a time when state enforcement data shows a low number of warnings and no citations – is quite questionable. It’s a shotgun approach that has had collateral damage. Simply put, it’s hitting the wrong targets. The revised order cast a large net, but only caught the good apples, letting the bad apples continue to operate as if nothing is wrong.

Our industry at a tipping point. Our local taverns and licensed restaurants need help if they are going to make it through this crisis and save jobs.

You have with our testimony a list of recommendations from our Association. While many are relying on the federal government to provide an industry bailout, we are also calling upon the state to do something.  In fact, there are quite a few things that should be considered to make a difference and ease some stress. These range from additional grants to erasing licensing fees for two years – one year to make up for this lost year and one year to help with recovery.

At this point, I’ll turn the mic over to Jim to tell his personal story.

Jim DeLisio

  • Personal story of his business
    • Initially closed
    • Rethought business model
    • Costs associated with license
    • Cost associated with safety compliance
    • Impact on his employees
  • York County industry observation
    • Industry needs 65-to-70 percent capacity just to break even
    • Bartender and server tips are down overall
    • Estimates that 10-15% of bars in York County have had to close for good, while another 30 to 40% are temporarily closed.

Again, thank you for this opportunity. If you have any questions, we’ll be happy to provide thoughts.

 

By in Latest News Comments Off on PaTaverns To Testify On Industry Survival And Recovery Needs

PaTaverns To Testify On Industry Survival And Recovery Needs

The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association (PLBTA) will testify on July 28 in front of the Pennsylvania Majority Policy Committee, chaired by Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter), to discuss how COVID-19 mitigation efforts are negatively impacting small business licensed restaurants and taverns across the state.

Representing the PLBTA will be Jim DeLisio, owner of the Racehorse Tavern in Thomasville and a member of the PLBTA Board of Directors. Mr. DeLisio is also president of the York County Tavern Association. Joining Mr. DeLisio will be Chuck Moran, executive director of the state association.

As the leading advocate for Pennsylvania’s small business taverns and licensed restaurants in Harrisburg, the PLBTA has been calling upon state leaders to piece together a survival and recovery program.

“Simply put, the state’s current COVID-19 order threatens both businesses and jobs,” says Moran. “Our industry is at a tipping point, and without assistance you can expect even more of these valued community gathering spots to disappear.”

According to Moran, members of the PLBTA have a business model that relies heavily on the sale of beer, wine, and mixed drinks. He says 63 percent of his average member’s business is the sale of those drinks. Furthermore, the average establishment employs about 16 Pennsylvania workers.

“Based on our calculations using state licensing data and member surveys, our small business taverns and licensed restaurants – many family-owned – employ more than 150,000 statewide,” Moran says. “A lot of jobs are on the line, and we need to find ways to preserve these small businesses to save the jobs and the roles they provide within communities.”

Moran says the current COVID-19 orders restricts business to 25 percent indoor occupancy, disallows service at the bar, and limits the sale of adult beverages to only when a patron is eating.

“We had already lost a number of bars and taverns that were forced to close because of earlier state orders this spring.  The losses incurred earlier combined with the latest orders was like a torpedo hitting an already damaged ship, and now the ship is sinking faster,” Moran says. “Pennsylvania taverns rely so heavily on the sale of adult beverages that the most recent order is forcing them to close up shop and send staff to the unemployment lines. The state needs to be a part of the solution in keeping these businesses afloat and then helping them recover in the aftermath of COVID-19.”

The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 28, in the House Majority Caucus Room, Room 140, Main Capitol.

Others invited to testify include the Pennsylvania Federation of Fraternal and Social Organizations, Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, and the Wolf administration.

The Tavern Association is advocating for a comprehensive state package to assist with both survival and then recovery for licensees who have suffered losses since March 6. The association is recommending the following:

  1. Passage of legislation to provide grants to small business restaurants and taverns to assist with COVID-19-related business losses, and expenses including costs associated with new outdoor seating, educational expenses including trade association memberships, hand sanitizer, staff PPE, indoor separators (plexiglass installation), digital thermometers…etc.
  2. Elimination of all license fees and surcharges for liquor-related service establishments for two years, provided the establishment had previously allowed on-site consumption.
  3. Elimination of all small games of chance license fees for R, H, E, and clubs for two years.
  4. Passage of legislation providing limited civil Immunity from liability for bars, taverns and restaurants that attempt, in good faith, to adhere to the provisions of the COVID-19 emergency declaration, the Governor’s 3-16-2020 COVID-19 Business Closure Order or any other executive order relating to COVID-19, or any guidance issued by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, the Department of Health or the Secretary of Health.
  5. Creation of a Small Business Tavern and Licensed Restaurant Promotion Program coordinated by both the PLCB and the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association to equal those financed for the beer, wine and spirits craft industries.
  6. Create a Liquor Licensee Specialty Council consisting of specialty associations within the industry including taverns, clubs, brew pubs, wineries, and distilleries to build future industry/state government dialogue.
  7. Permanent acceptance of mixed drinks-to-go as a business practice under the state Liquor Laws.
  8. To save money from delivery charges, allow licensed establishments the ability to pick up and deliver their own malt beverage orders, like the model followed when ordering spirits through the PLCB.
  9. Encourage outdoor seating by making the free temporary licensed premise extensions permanent at no additional cost to the licensee.
  10. Encourage outdoor seating expansion and support the entertainment industry by allowing up to 75 decibels of noise on a property line for all establishments with a liquor license, not just some.
  11. Modernize the state’s sanitation requirements to require tap cleaning once every 14 days.
  12. Cap third-party delivery charges for home delivery of meals from all restaurants and taverns.
  13. Increase the discount licensees receive when purchasing liquor through state stores.
  14. Eliminate the $50 minimum purchase requirement at state stores in order for a licensed establishment to receive a discount.

#     #     #

 

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.

By in Latest News Comments Off on Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association Renews Its Call For State To Set Up Special Relief Program For Tavern, Restaurant Industry

Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association Renews Its Call For State To Set Up Special Relief Program For Tavern, Restaurant Industry

(Harrisburg, PA – July 20, 2020) In light of revised state-directed COVID-19 orders negatively impacting taverns and licensed restaurants and the industry’s workforce, the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association (PLBTA) last week called on the General Assembly and Wolf Administration to create an industry relief package to help these small business establishments.

With the situation becoming more desperate as each day passes, this week the PLBTA again is urging state officials to move quickly to save an industry that is at a tipping point.

“The Tavern Association’s members have suffered as much or more than any other segment of Pennsylvania business and industry since mid-March,” said Chuck Moran, Executive Director of the PLBTA. “Our small business taverns, bars, and licensed restaurants have been closed, then limited in reopening, and been forced to comply with rigid and expensive requirements that make profits impossible, because the state has a hammer over them in licensing through the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.”

The costs for these mom and pop operations he noted, which exist on slim profits in the first place, have resulted in the closing of taverns, in the cause of preventing spread of the Covid-19 virus.  Many more are barely hanging on, in hopes that reopening would begin to limit their losses.  They have complied with every requirement, accepted every closing and limitation, and done their fair share and more to support the state’s effort to slow down the spread of the virus, Moran says

“The Governor’s action last week that threw the industry – and just one segment of the state economy – back into a virtual ‘yellow phase’ has jolted these small businesses, and made it increasingly difficult for them to survive,” Moran said.  “State Government needs to recognize the social and economic value of our community-based taverns and licensed restaurants, and provide them with support to avoid the permanent loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs.”

Moran predicts that with the governor’s most recent declaration the industry’s continuing financial hardships will continue likely until either a vaccine or herd immunity is established.

“We’re going to need a bigger lifeboat to save this sinking industry from the jaws of coronavirus,” Moran said. “Outdoor seating – and service of alcoholic beverages only with a meal is not a business model built for survival.  Sales of alcoholic beverages comprise the majority of income for many of these businesses, and food sales have been reduced to ten percent of their norm.  Loss of both has been devastating.  The latest proscriptions for these businesses make it virtually impossible to make a profit while maintaining the jobs they have created.  And being realistic, those that can survive through outdoor seating season will experience additional hardships once colder weather arrives in the fall and winter months, making outdoor seating impossible.”

To provide a lifeline to these businesses, today the Tavern Association again called on leaders in Harrisburg to act quickly on a restaurant and tavern industry relief package that would include the following:

  1. Passage of HB 2615, sponsored by Rep. Todd Stephens (R, Montgomery County), creating a Community Cornerstone Grant Program, to provide grants to small business restaurants and taverns to assist with COVID-19-related business losses, and expenses including costs associated with new outdoor seating, educational expenses including trade association memberships, hand sanitizer, staff PPE, indoor separators (plexiglass installation), digital thermometers… etc.
  2. Elimination of all license fees and surcharges for liquor-related service establishments for two years, provided the establishment had previously allowed on-site consumption.
  3. Elimination of all small games of chance license fees for R, H, E, and clubs for two years.
  4. Passage of SB 1194 or similar legislation providing limited civil Immunity from liability for bars, taverns and restaurants that attempt, in good faith, to adhere to the provisions of the COVID-19 emergency declaration, the Governor’s 3-16-2020 COVID-19 Business Closure Order or any other executive order relating to COVID-19, or any guidance issued by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, the Department of Health or the Secretary of Health.
  5. Creation of a Small Business Tavern and Licensed Restaurant Promotion Program coordinated by both the PLCB and the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association to equal those financed for the beer, wine and spirits craft industries.
  6. Create a Liquor Licensee Specialty Council consisting of specialty associations within the industry including taverns, clubs, brew pubs, wineries, and distilleries to build future industry/state government dialogue.
  7. Permanent acceptance of mixed drinks-to-go as a business practice under the state Liquor Laws.
  8. To save money from delivery charges, allow licensed establishments the ability to pick up and deliver their own malt beverage orders, like the model followed when ordering spirits through the PLCB.
  9. Encourage outdoor seating by making the free temporary licensed premise extensions permanent at no additional cost to the licensee.
  10. Encourage outdoor seating expansion and support the entertainment industry by allowing up to 75 decibels of noise on a property line for all establishments with a liquor license, not just some.
  11. Modernize the state’s sanitation requirements to require tap cleaning once every 14 days.
  12. Cap third-party delivery charges for home delivery of meals from all restaurants and taverns.
  13. Increase discount that licensed establishments receive when purchasing liquor through state stores.
  14. Eliminate the $50 minimum purchase requirement at state stores in order for a licensed establishment to receive a discount.

 

#     #     #

By in Latest News Comments Off on Small Business Pennsylvania Taverns and Licensed Restaurants Applaud State Senate For Passing HB 327; Encourage Governor To Sign

Small Business Pennsylvania Taverns and Licensed Restaurants Applaud State Senate For Passing HB 327; Encourage Governor To Sign

Chuck Moran, Executive Director

The following is a statement from Chuck Moran, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association, in response to the Pennsylvania Senate passing HB 327, a bill that would allow R and H liquor licenses (taverns and licensed restaurants) to sell mixed spirit drinks to go with certain size, container, and time of day limitations.

 

With every day that passes, Pennsylvania’s small business taverns and licensed restaurants move closer to financial ruin. These establishments were among the first businesses to either close or limit services as part of Governor Wolf’s Business Closure Order to fight the spread of COVID-19, and have been told they will not be allowed to resume operations until their counties enter the green phase. Business owners have been deprived of their operations and income, and are facing permanent closure, while many employees have lost their jobs.

Today, the Pennsylvania Senate joined the House of Representatives in almost unanimously throwing a lifeline to help keep taverns and restaurants from sinking faster. HB 327 would allow taverns and licensed restaurants to sell mixed spirit drinks to go with a few limitations for quantity, container, and time of day. This gives establishments one more small revenue stream to help them survive.

Every little bit counts. HB 327 in combination with other business saving opportunities can make a difference.

The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association thanks Senators Joe Scarnati, Jake Corman, Jay Costa, Pat Stefano, and Jim Brewster and the rest of the Senate for their quick bi-partisan response, and support of Pennsylvania’s neighborhood taverns and licensed restaurants.

We urge Governor Wolf to sign this bill as quickly as possible so that our Members can soon offer mixed liquor and spirits drinks to go.

 

#     #     #

 

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 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.