New bill to help restaurants, bars encouraging, but leaders say more needs to be done

New bill to help restaurants, bars encouraging, but leaders say more needs to be done

Across the board, the hospitality industry is in survival mode with many owners doing everything they can to stay in business.

“We are only a few weeks away from really having difficulties meeting our expenses,” owner of House of 1000 beers Art Barbus said.

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Barbus said he’s looking forward to a new program getting up and running after Gov. Tom Wolf signed Senate Bill 109.

“That’s great news. It’s grant money which kind of implies that its not a loan,” Barbus said.

The program dedicates $145 million to help support small restaurants and bars impacted by COVID-19. Leaders with the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association said the grant money will be divided up by county, and the funds will have to be distributed before March 1. Each business can get upwards of $50,000 in increments of $5,000. Each county is responsible for setting up the application process.

“To be eligible, you have to show that you’ve dropped 25% of your revenue. The priority group has to show they’ve dropped 50% in revenue,” said PLBTA executive director Chuck Moran.

Moran said he doesn’t think it will be enough to save everyone, but it’s at least a start.

“Anything we can get is going to be a tremendous help,” he said.

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