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Hello Valley Patriot Readers,
In Massachusetts, we have seen many of our local restaurants adversely impacted by COVID-19, with mom and pop establishments fearful that lost revenue from reduced capacity requirements and lingering hesitation by the public to dine out will prevent them from operating much longer. Restaurants were among the first to feel the negative economic effects of COVID-19 and we’ve already seen many beloved neighborhood eateries close their doors forever.
As our restaurants begin a very long road to recovery, finding ways to maximize revenue in the face of social distancing requirements is imperative. That is why I am so grateful the Senate recently passed a bill I co-sponsored, An Act to address challenges faced by restaurants and other establishments due to COVID-19, to address this urgency by codifying a streamlined regulatory process around patio and sidewalk service for restaurants.
In anticipation of reduced indoor capacity due to social distancing requirements, many restaurants reached out to their local licensing authorities to explore outdoor beverage and food service on patios and sidewalks.
Expanding the restaurant service premises to include contiguous outdoor space supports their efforts to serve more customers and increase revenue while promoting social distancing for diners.
Typically, the process to change licensing terms can take months – and with a surge in applications, it is likely that approval times would have been pushed well past the season when outdoor service is feasible in Massachusetts.
The legislation we passed temporarily authorizes our cities and towns to issue amended beverage pouring licenses without having to wait for that lengthy state approval.
Every day counts for our small businesses and every bit of revenue is crucial to their survival. The passage of this legislation is one important step of many needed to help our job creators in the restaurant community as they work to retain employees, pay their bills and contribute to the health of our economy. It is complimented by our efforts to defer the meals tax for our small businesses, with all penalties and interest that would otherwise apply being waived, as well as capping the amount that third-party delivery services are able to charge local restaurants.
If you have questions about this legislation or any other issue – or need assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic – please contact me and my team anytime via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 978-984-7747.
Yours in service,