December 22, 2021
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Signs Legislation to Support Bars, Restaurants, Breweries and Other Small Businesses

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Governor Hochul Signs Legislation to Support Bars, Restaurants, Breweries and Other Small Businesses
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Legislation S.2743/A.3909 Allows Temporary Retail Permits For New Bars, Restaurants and Grocery Stores In New York City    

Legislation S.6256-A/A.7757 Expands Temporary Manufacturing Permits To All Qualified Alcoholic Beverage Makers In The State  

Governor Kathy Hochul signed a legislative package removing red tape and assisting new bars, restaurants and other alcoholic beverage businesses to open more quickly. Legislation (S.2743/A.3909) allows for temporary retail permits to be issued for bars and restaurants opening in New York City, putting these businesses on the same footing as businesses in the rest of the state. Legislation (S.6256-A/A.7757) allows for new temporary manufacturing permits to be granted for New York wineries, breweries, cideries, and distilleries that are awaiting final approval on their manufacturing license, so they can operate and serve customers while their full application is pending.   

“Let’s raise a glass to the terrific bars, restaurants, breweries and other small businesses that are a vital part of New York’s economy,” Governor Hochul said. “As we continue to fight the pandemic, we also need to make sure we protect our economy, and this legislation will cut red tape and bring more customers in the door as quickly as possible to help small businesses get back on their feet.” 

These bills work to make it more efficient for new businesses to open. Under current law, New York City businesses cannot be granted temporary liquor licenses; the State Liquor Authority (SLA) is only permitted to provide permanent liquor licenses, which are subject to a lengthy review process. Under Legislation (S.2743/A.3909) the SLA will be able to grant certain New York City businesses temporary liquor licenses, which only take about 30 days to process, depending on the type of application. This will help the restaurant industry as well, which makes a third of its revenue from alcoholic beverage sales.   

Senator Jessica Ramos said, “As the latest surge has hit our city, we must remain resolute in our mission to codify tools that will help our restaurants and small business owners weather what could be another wave. By signing my bill, Gov. Hochul has thrown a lifeline to bars and restaurants in NYC. They are the fabric and life-source of our neighborhoods, and a uniform, statewide process for temporary licenses ensures that we can mediate the potentially devastating impact of a crisis.” 

Assemblymember Inez E. Dickens said, “Small businesses in New York City have already been through so much—we shouldn't be adding extra obstacles and red tape to get in the way of their success. That's why our legislation is so important: it cuts through the bureaucracy and helps ensure bars and restaurants have customers coming through the door from the very first days after opening. I'm grateful to Governor Hochul for signing this commonsense piece of legislation into law, and to my legislative partner Senator Ramos for making sure we get the job done.”

In order to strengthen the small businesses in the alcoholic beverage making industry, Legislation (S.6256-A/A.7757) allows the SLA to provide temporary licenses to qualifying businesses, including many craft beverage manufacturers. Normally, the licenses take six months to process and this waiting period makes it even riskier to open a new business in this sector. Under this new legislation, businesses may apply for a temporary license which allows them to open while awaiting the final approval, preventing accrued costs in rent and maintenance after the location and equipment are assembled.   

Senator Michelle Hinchey said, “New York’s booming craft beverage industry is a major source of local pride and an important part of our state’s tourism economy and agricultural heritage. Growing our competitive edge in the craft beverage space means creating a supportive business environment that helps these small entrepreneurs bring their products from farm to glass while creating local jobs. My bill, with Assemblymember Lupardo, to give new craft beverage makers the opportunity to apply for a 6-month temporary permit will allow more businesses to open their doors faster and start turning a profit sooner, which is especially important during such challenging economic times. I am incredibly grateful to Governor Hochul for signing this bill into law today and for recognizing the importance of temporary permits as a means to set our newest craft beverage businesses up for success.” 

Assemblymember Donna Lupardo said, “If a new craft beverage business has a location, and the equipment to begin operating, they should be able to do so, while awaiting a final permit. Common sense legislation like this makes it easier for these businesses to operate and generate income sooner. It also signals the value we place on this world-class industry, as they are an anchor to NY tourism and an important component of NY agriculture. I look forward to seeing these new businesses grow and to continuing our ongoing support for the craft beverage industry. Thank you to Senator Hinchey for her partnership and to Governor Hochul for her enthusiastic support.”

New York State’s alcoholic beverage making industry accounted for over $5 billion in revenue in 2018. Despite the economic downturn, it offered lawmakers a chance to reexamine laws that could interfere with entrepreneurialism. By easing this step in the SLA’s approval process, the industry is expected to grow over the next several years. By removing the wait times and obstacles to getting started, these new laws will galvanize the industry’s upward momentum and encourage more small businesses to start up new wineries, breweries, cideries, and distilleries in New York State. The alcoholic beverage making industry will also be supported by the restaurant industry as it emerges from a similar state due to the pandemic.     

Executive Director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance Andrew Rigie said, “New York City‘s restaurant and nightlife industry has been devastated by the pandemic. The industry is still 100,000 jobs short compared to pre-pandemic employment levels, and thousands of eating and drinking establishments have shuttered leaving vacant storefronts throughout the five boroughs. We thank Senator Ramos and Assemblymember Dickens for championing this legislation, and we extend our deepest thanks to Governor Hochul for signing this important bill, and for her leadership in supporting our restaurant and tourism industries, from small businesses to workers. It’s a great step forward in addressing the ongoing discrimination built into the alcohol laws against entrepreneurs in the city of New York by allowing them to be issued temporary liquor licenses. While there’s still more work to support the vital industry, this important new law will help small businesses open up faster, put people to work sooner, bring life to vacant restaurants around the city, and stimulate the economy.”    

New York State Latino Restaurant, Bar and Lounge Association President Jeffrey Garcia and Executive Director Arelia Taveras said, “We applaud Governor Hochul for signing into law this critical piece of legislation that will level the playing field for restaurants and bars in New York City. For far too long, restaurants and bars in New York City have been economically paralyzed while they wait for their permanent liquor license applications to be approved by SLA. This legislation will allow them to obtain temporary licenses while the application process plays out and will ensure that these establishments can offer a pivotal part of their menu to customers who wish to purchase alcohol. With the increasing threat of the COVID variants, we must equip restaurant and bar owners with every tool at their disposal to survive these difficult times.”

Empire State Restaurant & Tavern Association Executive Director Scott Wexler said, “Allowing temporary permits in New York City, as they are in the rest of the State, will facilitate the continued success of New York hospitality industry. This is especially important now as we continue to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic. We commend the Governor and the Legislature for their support of these vital small businesses.”

New York State Brewers Association Executive Director Paul Leone said, Governor Hochul continues to be a tremendous advocate of the craft beverage industry in New York State and we applaud her leadership once more with the signing of this bill. With the current wait times for craft beverage licenses now reaching nearly 6 months, this bill, sponsored by Senator Hinchey and Assemblymember Lupardo, will allow the nearly 45 craft brewers waiting on those licenses to open immediately when they are issued this temporary permit. That will allow them to sell their product, pay their rent, pay their bills, and add employees as they wait for their license.”  

New York State Restaurant Association President and CEO Melissa Fleischut said, “We all know that positive cases are surging in New York City, and each day restaurants are forced to temporarily suspend service, face staffing shortages, and deal with cancelled reservations. By allowing temporary liquor licenses In New York City, the state is providing some relief for operators who will undoubtedly be facing a tough winter season and bringing an antiquated rule in line with the rest of the state. Thank you, Governor Hochul, Senator Ramos, and Assemblymember Dickens, and we look forward to continue working on ways to support the restaurant industry during this prolonged crisis.”

State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley said, "Our hospitality sector has been hit hard over the past two years, and we must do everything in our power to support this vital sector of our economy as they rebuild. A top priority for Governor Hochul is ensuring all businesses can open as expeditiously as possible, and these new laws will allow bars, restaurants and manufacturing businesses to start bringing in revenue and creating jobs right away.”   

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474-8418
New York City: (212) 681-4640

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