Gov. Whitmer Signs Executive Order Offering Financial Relief for Bars, Restaurants

On Monday, Gov. Whitmer signed an executive order offering financial relief for bars and restaurants with on-premises liquor licenses.

The order allows the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) to initiate a liquor buy-back program.

Shamrock Pub & Grill says it’ll help after they only sold a quarter of their stock during St. Patrick’s Day.

“We are an Irish bar and on St. Patrick’s Day, Jameson is one of the biggest selling liquors and so I stocked up on Jameson big time, and we did not sell nearly as enough as we were hoping for,” says Rowanna Barringer, manager at Shamrock.

Barringer says the left-over liquor is now just sitting on the shelf:

“I’ve been with this bar for two years, and I come to love the customers that come here and so it makes me really sad every time I walk by, it reminds me that the customers aren’t here.”

The order empowers the MLCC to use its revolving fund to buy spirits remaining in inventory from bars and restaurants that purchased the spirits prior to March 16th, 2020 for their full purchase price. Liquor licensees approved for the program have until 90 days after the state’s emergency and disasters declaration are lifted to re-purchase the spirits from MLCC.

Linda Broctor, owner of Sawmill Saloon in Big Rapids, says it will help with all of the money their loosing:

“That will be a shot in the arm, a little extra cash to pay the utilities and all of the other bills that still come in.”

A little relief, so that bars like Broctor’s can open back up to her favorite customers.

“I miss all of the regulars, miss all of the gossip,” says Broctor.

Licensees must make their request no later than Friday, April 17, 2020 at 5pm, using the online form on the MLCC website here: Licensing And Regulatory Affairs

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