Bars and restaurants in the City of Peoria are getting some relief for overhead expenses this year with a 50% reduction in liquor license renewal fees.
The ordinance outlining the relief measure was adopted unanimously at Tuesday night’s city council meeting. The ordinance also extends the 2020 license year through April 30, giving business owners two months longer than usual to pay renewal fees.
At-Large council member Sid Ruckriegel said the ordinance supports the city’s bars and restaurants that were forced to reduce or eliminate service during the coronavirus pandemic.
“This does not give anything but partnership with our businesses to be able to let them know that we understand the expenses, the fragility of their business and the fact that they've had to tailor their business, or in some cases, not be able to operate at all,” said Ruckriegel.
The fee reduction is available to liquor license holders that have not been formally found in violation of state-mandated COVID-19 business regulations.
City Attorney Chrissie Peterson said the city was not aware of any liquor license holders in Peoria with violation charges brought by either an administrative body or court.
“If that happened and (business owners) are found guilty or plead guilty to that liability then they would become responsible for the rest of the discounted rate, so they would then owe the remaining 50% of the fee,” said Peterson.
The reduced liquor license renewal fee does not apply to grocery stores, liquor stores, convenience stores or gas stations.
The same fee reduction and schedule applies to video gaming license renewals in Peoria. That program does not apply to the licenses required of the businesses that lease gaming terminals to local establishments.
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