New efforts to support hospitality industry

New York Governor Kathy Hochul
New York Governor Kathy Hochul speaks during a news conference to unveil a plan to make the subway system safer, at Fulton St. subway station in New York City, U.S., Feb. 18, 2022.
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File

NYC Hospitality Alliance and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday welcomed Gov. Kathy Hochul’s new efforts to support the hospitality industry with what she describes as “a more efficient State Liquor Authority.”

“New York’s restaurant industry has been devastated by the pandemic,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance. “That’s why smart policy like the temporary liquor license law is helping small businesses open much faster while creating new jobs, and why it’s necessary to reinstate the popular drinks to go policy that provides struggling businesses an important revenue stream while giving New Yorkers what they want, which is wine and cocktails for takeout and delivery from their favorite restaurants and bars.

“We thank Gov. Hochul for enacting this important temporary liquor license law, Sen. Ramos and Assemblymember Dickens for championing the legislation, and now we look forward to working alongside the Governor as she leads the way to bring back drinks to go, and provides the State Liquor Authority with support so they can best service new and existing businesses. Cheers New York,” he added.

Randy Peers, president and chief executive officer of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, said Hochul’s actions to speed up State Liquor Authority licensing processes and her strong support for permanently re-instating the popular “drinks to go” program will “inspire new restaurants and bars to open sooner amid vacant storefronts in our communities and give existing businesses still reeling from the economic impacts of COVID-19 critical opportunities to recoup their losses and restore jobs in the industry.”

On Wednesday, Hochul announced efforts to support the recovery of New York restaurants and bars, including the proposal to permanently legalize to-go drinks, and to ensure “a more efficient State Liquor Authority.”

The Governor highlighted these proposals and actions at an event at Therapy Wine Bar 2.0, a Brooklyn business that was able to open thanks to a law signed by the Governor in December to allow for temporary permits to serve alcohol.

Hochul also announced proposals to update the state’s liquor laws and to fund operational improvements at the State Liquor Authority (SLA) to revitalize the state’s multi-billion-dollar hospitality industry, one of the industries hit hardest by the pandemic.

To ensure SLA’s policies are as smart, efficient, and effective as possible, Gov. Hochul additionally directed SLA to consult with industry representatives and stakeholders to review existing laws and identify red tape.

“New York’s nightlife and hospitality industry are second to none, and our state cannot truly come back from this pandemic until we revitalize this crucial sector of our economy and the hundreds of thousands of jobs it provides,” she said. “We owe it to our small businesses to provide them with the resources and regulatory framework they need to grow and thrive, which is why is it’s important that we reform and modernize the State Liquor Authority. This is just one of several steps we are taking to help small businesses come back from the pandemic stronger than ever before.”

Aspects of the multifaceted approach to revitalizing New York’s hospitality industry contained in the Governor’s recent budget proposal include: Increased funding to get businesses open quickly, streamlining the application process, to-go drinks and modernizing the SLA.

“New York’s nightlife and hospitality industry are second to none, and our state cannot truly come back from this pandemic until we revitalize this crucial sector of our economy,” Hochul said.

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