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NFIB applauds passage of bill to help small PA restaurants, bars and banquet venues

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Yesterday the state Legislature gave final approval to HB 2513, which will help restaurants, bars and event venues survive by loosening the restrictions imposed upon them during the pandemic by Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration under emergency declarations.

The bill would increase indoor dining capacity to 50% without requiring restaurants to self-certify and expand their ability to have outdoor dining. Bars could serve patrons up at the bar, and restaurants, bars, brewpubs, wineries, and distilleries would not be required to serve food with alcohol or stop alcohol sales early. Event venues could also open at 50% capacity.

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“Restaurants, bars, and other gathering places took in so little revenue over the last six months that many have been forced to close permanently. Those able to hold on have been hit hard by the current restrictions. Lawmakers clearly heard their pain and gave this legislation a thumbs up,” said Gordon Denlinger, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in Pennsylvania, an association that represents 13,000 small businesses in the state. “The question is, will Gov. Wolf veto the legislation which received such wide bipartisan support? We certainly hope not because livelihoods and jobs depend on it.”

“Hospitality businesses across Pennsylvania have had their hands tied by state government. There’s been nothing owners could do as they watched their life’s work begin to disappear,” added Denlinger. “If the bill is not vetoed, perhaps these small businesses will be finally able to make a small profit and hold on until there is a vaccine and fear of this virus subsides.”



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