Michigan bars and restaurants will receive relief amid COVID-19 economic woes as part of a $3.3 million effort put forward by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) will oversee the program, which aims to provide a 100 percent cash buyback program to on-premise liquor licensees for spirits purchased by respective Michigan bars and restaurants from the Commission before March 16, 2020.
The effort to assist Michigan bars and restaurants comes as part of the governor’s Executive Order 2020-46.
“I know the financial losses have been incredibly devastating to business owners in the hospitality industry during this COVID-19 pandemic,” shared Gov. Whitmer during a press conference to discuss the measure. “I am pleased that through this innovative program, we can provide much-needed cash to hundreds of Michigan’s bars and restaurants that are struggling right now, to help tide them over until they’re open for business again.”
“The Commission is proud to be a part of the governor’s one-of-a-kind liquor buyback,” added Michigan Liquor Control Commission Chair Pat Gagliardi in a press release put out by the governors’ office. “We’re extremely pleased to provide these neighborhood bars and restaurants across Michigan a financial lifeline they can count on in these uncertain times.”
Going to assist 657 Michigan bars and restaurants, the program equals out to about $5000 assistance for each establishment which has struggled since the stay-at-home orders began in March. The Commission will not be picking up any of the refunded liquor, and the establishments who receive assistance will have 90 days after the emergency declarations are lifted to pay the Commission back interest-free.
Eligible licensees applied for the spirits buyback program directly through the MLCC from April 14-24. After approval, the Michigan Department of Treasury issued checks to affected businesses.
Further updates on the situation surrounding COVID-19 will be provided as they happen. For more information on the coronavirus response from the State of Michigan, please visit michigan.gov/coronavirus.