Gov. Wolf plans to waive liquor license fees for bars, restaurants

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FILE – In a Friday, June 28, 2019 file photo, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks during a news conference in Harrisburg, Pa. Wilf says four children in his state were recently separated from their parents by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and he’s demanding a stop to the practice until there’s a plan to ensure children’s welfare. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf wrote Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan on Monday, Aug. 12, 2019 seeking an accounting of all children separated from their parents this year in Pennsylvania, how long they were apart and steps taken to ensure their well-being. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Governor Tom Wolf has announced a plan to waive liquor license fees as a way to provide financial relief to restaurants and bars.

The licensing fees would be waived through 2021 starting on Jan. 1, resulting in $20 million in relief from over 16,000 establishments.

“Eliminating liquor license fees is an important step toward helping bars and restaurants retain the capital they need to weather the storm of COVID-19,” Gov. Wolf said.

Representatives that joined Gov. Wolf during his announcement in Pittsburgh include Representatives Dan Deasy (D-Allegheny), Ed Gainey (D-Allegheny) and Jake Wheatley (D-Allegheny), and Senator Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny).

“While the COVID-19 pandemic has affected just about every industry, restaurants and bars have been hit particularly hard and we need to provide relief to these small businesses at the heart of our communities,” Sen. Fontana said. “I’m pleased that the governor is taking steps to implement some of our goals and am encouraged that this will provide meaningful assistance to so many of these establishments that are struggling”

Gov. Wolf has also called on General Assembly to provide an additional $225 million in federal CARES act funding and proposed $100 million in forgivable loans and grants for hospitality services, including restaurants and bars.

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