Gov. Whitmer announces $3.3 million in relief to bar and restaurant owners – WILX-TV

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LANSING, MI (WILX) — Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced more than $3.3 million in financial relief will be going to 657 bar and restaurant owners across the state, equating to a financial lifeline averaging over $5,000 for hard-hit hospitality businesses.

The governor said the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) is administrator of the governor’s spirits buyback program.

“I know the financial losses have been incredibly devastating to business owners in the hospitality industry during this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Whitmer. “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.”

Going along with Gov. Whitmer’s executive order allowing 100% cash buyback to on-premise liquor licensees for spirits they had ordered from the commission before March 16, 2020, licenses actually keep possession of the products the commission bought back with no bottles being picked up, the governor’s office said.

The governor’s office said bars and restaurants have 90 days after the emergency declarations are lifted to repurchase the inventory by selling it when they are reopen for business and pay the commission back interest-free.

“The Commission is proud to be a part of the governor’s one-of-a-kind liquor buyback,” said MLCC Chair Pat Gagliardi. “We’re extremely pleased to provide these neighborhood bars and restaurants across Michigan a financial lifeline they can count on in these uncertain times.”

The governor’s office said eligible licensees applied for the spirits buyback program directly through the MLCC between April 14 and April 24, and once applications were approved, checks were issued to licensees from the Michigan Department of Treasury.

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