Lexington joins state in waiving liquor license renewal fees

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton joined the state Tuesday in waiving 2020 liquor license renewal fees for bars, restaurants and several other facilities.

The waiver applies to businesses shut down by Gov. Andy Beshear’s orders as “non-essential,” or those required to operate under limited capacity because of COVID-19.

“The pandemic has hit these businesses really hard,” Gorton said. “They need all the help they can get.”

Over the summer, Gorton worked to cushion the blow on many of these same businesses operating under limited capacity by finding ways to allow them to expand seating on sidewalks and parking lots.

“It will be harder for them to use outdoor tables in cold weather,” the Mayor said.

The city also invested $2.5 million in grants to small businesses, including several bars and restaurants, to help with COVID expenses.

The state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has already waived the state license renewal fees for these businesses. By executive order, Gorton is waiving the local fees.

Any business that has already paid its fees for 2020 will have fees waived for 2021.

The fees range in cost, depending upon the type and size of the business. The impact on the city budget is estimated at $750,000, spread out over two budget cycles.

“Job losses would have a bigger, longer-lasting impact on our budget,” Gorton said. “Our bars and restaurants are an important part of our economy. Lexington’s restaurant scene has a national reputation. We need to do what we can to support it.”

The nation’s hospitality industry has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. That’s also true for Lexington.

The waiver applies to those who hold a Brewer’s License; Caterer’s License; Extended Hours Supplemental License; Limited Restaurant License; Microbrewery License; NQ1 Retail Drink License – convention centers, racetracks, state parks, etc.; NQ2 Retail Drink License – restaurants, hotel restaurants/bars, airport restaurants, etc.; NQ3 Retail Drink License – private clubs, bed and breakfasts, etc.; NQ4 Malt Beverage Drink License – supplemental for small farm wineries, breweries, etc.; Qualified Historic Site License; Quota Retail Drink License (bars); Special Sunday Retail Drink License; Supplemental Bar License; and Entertainment Destination Center License.

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