Elected officials and the business community on Wednesday hailed a new law that suspends the city’s liquor license surcharge, thus putting money back into the pockets of small business owners.
The legislation — sponsored by Councilmembers Justin Brannan (D-Southwest Brooklyn) and Keith Powers (Central Park East- Midtown East) — suspends the city’s 25 percent surcharge businesses pay on state liquor licenses for a year and is retroactively effective June 1, 2022.
It is estimated that the legislation will help businesses citywide save $6.5 million over the next year, according to the Mayor’s Office.
The bill has its origin in a plan released by Mayor Eric Adams in March titled “Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery.” The blueprint contained more than 70 concrete proposals to help revitalize the city’s economy
“New York City’s restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and bodegas are the lifeblood of our neighbor- hoods,” said Brannan. “These small business owners have been through the wringer over the past few years, and they need our support. Owning and operating a small business during normal times is no easy feat.
“By suspending this liquor license surcharge, we can help lighten their load just a little bit as we explore additional avenues to ensure our small businesses can thrive beyond the pandemic,” Brannan added.
“The COVID-19 pandemic hit our small businesses hard, especially our bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues, but we are now lifting them up by helping put money right back into their cash registers,” commented Adams. “Suspending the local tax these businesses currently pay on liquor licenses will help them save money and keep their doors open as they continue to recover.”
“Thank you to Mayor Adams, Councilmembers Powers, Brannan, and all the supporters for suspend- ing this discriminatory surcharge that only small businesses in the city of New York are forced to pay, on top of the hefty fees they already pay to the state for their liquor li- censes,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director, New York City Hospitality Alliance.
“I’ve said it all along that we should be eliminating barriers to prosperity and growth for our small businesses in NYC, and the passage of the bill to suspend the liquor license surcharge is a prime example of this,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso.