Sainato: License fee waiver will help struggling area bars, restaurants

Additional comprehensive relief needed

NEW CASTLE, Oct. 22 – Area restaurants, bars and clubs hit hard by pandemic shutdowns and restrictions will see some important relief under a plan by the administration to waive standard liquor license fees for the coming year, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today.

“The restrictions and shutdowns imposed on our area restaurants, bars and clubs have placed many in a stranglehold,” Sainato said. “Those that have managed to survive are running on fumes. The plan announced today to waive liquor license fees for 2021 will help by giving these businesses additional capital for operating expenses, but a lot more is needed, and it’s needed now, because the clock is ticking for these businesses.

“With about $1.3 billion in CARES Act dollars remaining, I will be working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to bring about a comprehensive restaurant relief package. We need to do everything in our power to save these small, family businesses that are the lifeblood of our economy.”

Earlier this week, Sainato voted to override the governor’s veto of H.B. 2513, which would have expanded capacity for restaurants and bars to a minimum of 50% and removed certain alcohol service restrictions, but the override failed.

The fee waiver plan is still awaiting final approval from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Once approved, it would waive standard license fees for restaurants, clubs, bars and hotels beginning Jan. 1, 2021, and continuing through the end of the year. It is estimated it would bring $20 million in savings to the state’s approximately 16,000 restaurants and bars, clubs and hotels.

Additional information about the plan is available