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Whitmer signs bar and restaurant relief package


Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) The Michigan Licensed Beverage Association has learned that Governor Whitmer signed SB 942, HB 5811 and HB 5781, which aim to provide relief for bars, restaurants and other business in the hospitality industry that have been adversely impacted by COVID-19.

“The MLBA, its members and all 8,500 licensees throughout the state have something to be excited about today,” said MLBA Executive Director Scott Ellis. “We would like to thank Governor Whitmer, Senator Nesbitt, Representative Webber and Representative Anthony for their focus and hard work for bringing these ideas to fruition in a timely manner.”

The package raises the current 17 percent discount on spirits purchased from the state by an on-premises account to 23 percent for a 12-month period.

It allows for drinks to go and the delivery of drinks by on-premises licensees until Dec. 31, 2025 and two-for-one pricing on drinks sold in a licensed establishment.

The new bill increases the amount of spirits an on-premises account can purchase from an off-premises account from nine liters per month (108 liters per year) to 120 liters per year with no monthly cap.

It also creates an exception to the aid and assistance rule to allow a manufacturer to refund a wholesaler for expired products.

Additionally, the bills allow small distilleries to sell drinks to go and samples in the licensed establishments and local governmental units to establish social districts with a commons area that multiple on-premises licensees can use to increase sales via permit until Dec. 31, 2024.

“These bills are critical to the survival of the hospitality industry because we don’t know how long we will be operating at this reduced capacity while many bars are continuing to accrue debt and face financial hardship.” Ellis said. “Everything in this package will help businesses with their long-term recovery as we continue to transition back to normal.”

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