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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: July 30, 2020 04:03 PM
From: Senator Pam Iovino and Sen. James R. Brewster
To: All Senate members
Subject: Pennsylvania Restaurant, Tavern, and Club Stimulus Package
In the near future, we plan on introducing a legislative package to provide direct and significant financial relief to restaurants, taverns, and clubs.

These establishments have faced the brunt of our Commonwealth’s necessary shutdown orders and for the most part the sector has been following those orders, properly using PPE when operating, and trying to keep their employees working and paid during these difficult times. Many of these businesses are owned and run by families that have put their lifeblood into their creation and operation.

This legislative package will provide swift, substantial financial relief to restaurants, taverns, and clubs. This relief will provide both short- and long-term aid totaling more than $175 million.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this crucial package of legislation.

Document #1

Description: COVID-19 Restaurant, Tavern and Club Grant Program

This legislation would carve out $100 million from the remaining CARES Act funds to provide grants to retail liquor licensees for revenue and capital losses experienced during shutdown periods. The program would be housed within the Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance program, utilizing our Commonwealth’s robust network of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to distribute the funds quickly and efficiently.

Document #2

Introduced as SB1308

Description: Increase Wholesale Wine & Spirit Discount

This legislation would increase the wholesale licensee discount for wine & spirit purchases from the Pennsylvania’s Liquor Control Board (PLCB) from 10% to 15% through June 30, 2021. The discount would gradually reduce back to 10% by June 30, 2022. The total savings to restaurants, taverns, and clubs would exceed $40 million.

Document #3

Description: Waive License Renewal and Permit Fees

This legislation would waive all license renewal and permit fees that are paid by restaurants and taverns for one year from the date of implementation. The total savings to restaurants, taverns, and clubs would exceed $35 million.

Document #4

Description: Sales Tax Relief

This legislation would eliminate late fees and penalties for delayed sales tax payments through June 30, 2021. This would allow restaurants, taverns, and clubs to postpone, without fee, sales tax payments. Restaurants, taverns, and clubs with delinquent accounts would be able to pay them off by June 30, 2021.

Document #5

Description: Expand Outdoor Dining

This legislation would allow retail liquor licensees to expand their licensed premise outdoors to non-contiguous areas of the licensee. Many communities have successfully implemented dining expansion on a case-by-case basis, so language at the state-level is necessary for consistency and safety. This would allow restaurants and taverns to potentially double or triple their capacity.

Document #6

Description: Eliminate Off-Premise Catering Permit Fee

This legislation would eliminate the $500 off-premise catering permit fee during the declared state of emergency. The pandemic has caused catering events to change when and how they are held. This would give restaurants, taverns, and catering companies greater flexibility and allow them to expand their options to consumers.