HARRISBURG – PA Speaker Of The House, Bryan Cutler, shared some disheartening news in his weekly newsletter. It reads as follows.
“Last week, Gov. Tom Wolf announced plans to waive liquor license fees to provide “financial relief” to restaurants and bars that have been impacted by his capacity and operational restrictions. The governor touted his plan would save more than 16,000 restaurants and similar businesses $20 million…which may sound good until you realize it amounts to about $1,200 per establishment. This initiative is a mere drop in the bucket compared to the losses our restaurants, bars, clubs, catering clubs and hotels have experienced during the last seven months of pandemic restrictions. The governor’s announcement came just two days after a dozen House Democrats who originally supported a bill to allow these establishments to safely expand their operations under state and federal guidance changed their votes, sustaining the governor’s veto of the measure and ultimately forcing more of these small businesses to close for good. According to the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, 63% of the state’s restaurant operators say it is unlikely their restaurant will still be in business six months from now, if business conditions continue at current levels. We must work together to protect both the lives and livelihoods of Pennsylvanians.”