Restaurants are pushing Albany to move on to two government-promised items. Kathy HochulState of the State address that will bring financial relief to the industry scarred by the pandemic: relief funding and alcohol to go.
A recent survey published speak New York State Restaurant Association (NYSRA) found that 93% of restaurants in the state said they saw a drop in demand for indoor seating due to the omicron variant, with 86% of operators reporting that business conditions are worse now than they are. weren’t three months ago.
Not only does the organization ask legislators to moving forward with bills to reinstate alcohol to go – which was aggressively opposed by liquor store lobby.
State regulations temporarily allowing alcohol to go expired in June 2021 and revived the former governor. Andrew Cuomo-st directive proved difficult.
“It has been nearly two years since we entered this devastating pandemic and the restaurant industry continues to cry out for consistent help,” said Melissa FleischutCEO of the NYSRA. “The results of this survey are just a reflection of restaurants suffering without promise of better days. Actions must be taken. »
Also critically important to NYSRA is the replenishment of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), which has kept up to 96% of restaurants operating so far during the pandemic.
As many as 335 restaurateurs responded to the recent survey, with 81% saying costs in December 2021 were higher than they were in December 2020. And 95% of those who didn’t get a grant federal RRF in the last round said that a future opportunity provide the option of either retaining employees or rehiring them.
RRF funding expired in October 2021.
“The legislature will now consider the governor’s proposal in annual budget negotiations,” a spokesperson for Hochul’s office said in a statement. “Governor. Hochul understands that the hospitality industry has been and is one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. She will continue to work with the legislature and the liquor industry to craft legislation that will help our businesses recover. up and thrive in their communities.
But as companies suffer from the lingering effects of the omicron variant, bills introduced by Hochul beginning of January are still being studied by the Senate and Assembly committees.
A separate survey of 700 respondents between May 14 and May 20, 2021 supported the NYSRA’s assertion of the importance of this legislation.
The NYSRA found that 81% of respondents in New York are in favor of takeout alcohol. Residents of Long Island and upstate New York were also supportive, at 79 and 72 percent, respectively. Counties like Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester saw 83% favor in allowing customers to have delivery or takeout.
The legislation would come into effect immediately, amending the Liquor Control Act to allow any business licensed to retail liquor or wine for on-site consumption to be permitted to sell for off-site consumption. Permanently.
the New York State Liquor Authority would be able to adopt rules and regulations for these particular sales, such as setting quantity and volume limits, determining whether or not food purchase would be necessary at the time of alcohol purchase, deciding hours of sale and whether it is opened or not the containers should be sealed.
Marc Hallum can be reached at [email protected].