(The Center Square) - Bars, restaurants and other venues in Louisville, Ky., will get a one-time break on their annual renewal fee for alcohol and liquor licenses, Louisville Metro Government announced.
The city government’s Department of Codes and Regulations will cut the yearly fee for alcohol and beverage control licenses by 25 percent. In addition, the renewal fee for extended hours service will be waived.
The move affects 916 establishments in the city, ranging from bars and restaurants to hotels, breweries, distilleries, golf courses and convention centers. Of those, 429 have extended hours permits, which for now cannot be used as an order by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear prohibits sales after 11 p.m.
In a statement, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said charging bars and restaurants for a license they currently can’t use would just add to the burden they’ve faced during the COVID-19 crisis.
“By lessening the annual renewal fee and waiving fees for the extended hour licenses, we hope to provide those businesses with additional relief,” he said.
The city expects the move to have about a $576,000 impact.
In addition, the city has extended all licenses at no charge until Nov. 30. Establishments must submit their renewal application to continue selling after that date.
The move does not affect retail businesses, including groceries, convenience stores and package liquor stores.
Facilities that want to serve alcoholic beverages on-site pay between $200 and $2,000 annually, with the price ranging based on the type of business applying and the beverages they plan to sell. Those permits allow alcohol sales until midnight.
Extended hours permits allow establishments to sell until 2 a.m. or 4 a.m. Under the city’s ABC fee structure, if a venue wants to offer drinks until 4 a.m., that means they must buy two extended-hour permits.
This isn’t the only move the city has made for such establishments. Twice this year, Louisville has allowed restaurants to expand outdoor dining availability. The first came in May when dining establishments could set up seating on private property or parking lots with the city waiving some zoning restrictions.
Then in August, the city allowed restaurants to expand into the streets and take over street-side parking sports. Public Works also has suspended application fees for restaurants wanting to expand outdoor seating on public property, including sidewalks.
Louisville Forward, the city government’s economic and community development arm, has awarded more than $20 million in grants to more than 630 local small businesses since July. In addition, it’s also established a low-interest loan program for small businesses affected by the coronavirus.