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Hochul signs legislation to support bars, restaurants, breweries & other small businesses


Wed, Dec 22nd 2021 05:15 pm

Legislation allows temporary retail permits for new bars, restaurants and grocery stores in New York City; expands temporary manufacturing permits to all qualified alcoholic beverage makers in state

Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed a legislative package “removing red tape and assisting new bars, restaurants and other alcoholic beverage businesses to open more quickly,” her team said.

Legislation (S.2743/A.3909) allows for temporary retail permits to be issued for bars and restaurants opening in New York City, putting these businesses on the same footing as businesses in the rest of the state. Legislation (S.6256-A/A.7757) allows for new temporary manufacturing permits to be granted for New York wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries that are awaiting final approval on their manufacturing license, so they can operate and serve customers while their full application is pending.

"Let's raise a glass to the terrific bars, restaurants, breweries and other small businesses that are a vital part of New York's economy," Hochul said. "As we continue to fight the pandemic, we also need to make sure we protect our economy, and this legislation will cut red tape and bring more customers in the door as quickly as possible to help small businesses get back on their feet."

These bills work to make it more efficient for new businesses to open. Under current law, New York City businesses cannot be granted temporary liquor licenses; the State Liquor Authority (SLA) is only permitted to provide permanent liquor licenses, which are subject to a lengthy review process. Under legislation S.2743/A.3909, the SLA will be able to grant certain New York City businesses temporary liquor licenses, which only take about 30 days to process, depending on the type of application. This will help the restaurant industry as well, which makes a third of its revenue from alcoholic beverage sales.

In order to strengthen the small businesses in the alcoholic beverage making industry, legislation S.6256-A/A.7757 allows the SLA to provide temporary licenses to qualifying businesses, including many craft beverage manufacturers. Normally, the licenses take six months to process, and this waiting period makes it even riskier to open a new business in this sector. Under this new legislation, businesses may apply for a temporary license. That would allow them to open while awaiting the final approval, preventing accrued costs in rent and maintenance after the location and equipment are assembled.

A press release noted, “New York state's alcoholic beverage-making industry accounted for over $5 billion in revenue in 2018. Despite the economic downturn, it offered lawmakers a chance to reexamine laws that could interfere with entrepreneurialism. By easing this step in the SLA's approval process, the industry is expected to grow over the next several years. By removing the wait times and obstacles to getting started, these new laws will galvanize the industry's upward momentum and encourage more small businesses to start up new wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries in New York state. The alcoholic beverage-making industry will also be supported by the restaurant industry as it emerges from a similar state due to the pandemic.”

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