Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan Licensed Beverage Association will provide testimony on Senate Bill 942, introduced by Senator Nesbitt, at today’s Regulatory Reform Committee hearing at 2:30 p.m. The legislation aims to provide liquor license holders with further financial relief and allows necessary acts that will help bars and restaurants throughout the state moving forward.
“The bill includes a number of important items for industry, including: cocktails to go, social drinking zones and allowing on-premises licensees to purchase an unlimited quantity of spirits from an off-premises retailer, said MLBA Executive Director Scott Ellis. “Our industry is ready to reopen safely and we will need some help to get the hospitality industry back on its feet.”
The legislation also expands the spirits discount for on-premises licensees, expands outdoor service areas, requires wholesalers to replace or refund expired products and allows for two-for-one pricing on alcoholic beverages.
“While public sentiment about the shutdown may differ depending on who you talk to, I think everyone, from the halls of the legislature to small communities throughout the state, understands the importance of helping those who need it most,” Ellis said. “Bars and restaurants were among the first businesses shuttered and will likely be some of the last to reopen. However, that eventual reopening does not mean things will go back to normal. It may take months or years to reach some sense of normalcy again. With that in mind, the items in Senate Bill 942 will surely help us get there.”
There are currently about 8,500 on-premises licensees throughout the state that range from bars to bowling alleys that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown. The hospitality industry is Michigan’s second largest economic sector in terms of employment and is estimated to be experiencing a loss of between $500 million and $1 billion per month.