NYS Senator Tim Kennedy asking state to cut restaurants some slack during pandemic


(WIVB)– A survey by the State Restaurant Association predicts when the ball drops on New Year the curtain could fall on two-thirds of the restaurants in New York.

State Senator Tim Kennedy believes, if the state cuts those businesses some slack, they might survive.

“So this weekend we are almost sold out with reservations on Saturday.”

Dan Tighe, Sheraton Niagara Falls General Manager

To squeeze in a few more customers, due to limited indoor dining, the Rainforest Cafe at the Sheraton Niagara Falls has set up these “ice caves”.

The hours are limited, but manager Dan Tighe says, they are getting by.

“We are doing okay. Weekends are good for us. Unfortunately, with the occupancy level, we have had to close down Monday through Thursday, the Rainforest Cafe. But we are open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, from noon to nine.”

Dan Tighe, Sheraton Niagara Falls General Manager

Niagara Falls is in a state-designated “yellow zone,” so there is limited dining.

Most of Erie County is in an orange zone and indoor dining is banned, which has forced many restaurants and bars to close.

Those same businesses have already paid thousands of dollars for their liquor licenses. Which State Senator Tim Kennedy says is doing them no good, and he wants to give them a break.

“If we can provide relief into the thousands of dollars for a liquor license, that many of them can’t even use in this moment, I think we are doing the right thing by them.”

New York State Senator Tim Kennedy

Kennedy is asking Governor Cuomo and the State Liquor Authority to either waive the liquor license renewals or cut them drastically to help them survive.

“When you are asking a small business, a restaurant or a bar, to fork over thousands of dollars for a liquor license that they can’t even use, it just does not make any sense.”

New York State Senator Tim Kennedy

Dan Tighe says it will help a lot.

“It would definitely help us, help some relief. It has been a tough summer, and even a tougher winter, so any relief that we can get down here would definitely help.”

Dan Tighe, Sheraton Niagara Falls General Manager

Kennedy says Congress passing a covid relief bill could help, but he told us, these businesses really can’t wait.

If New York’s bars and restaurants don’t get some relief, Kennedy says many of them could be closing their doors for the last time by the last day of the year.

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