Bill to Provide Relief for Bar Owners Signed Into Law
Raleigh, NC – Earlier today, Governor Cooper signed House Bill 4 – Extend ABC Permit Renewal Fees into law. The legislation will help bar owners by allowing them to defer ABC permit fees until they are able to reopen at full capacity. The bill clarifies an existing emergency relief law passed in 2020 to allow bar owners to defer their permit fees up to 90 days after they are able to operate at full capacity.
“I’m grateful to see this legislation signed into law,” said Chairman Moffitt. “House Bill 4 will give private bars and small business owners reprieve until they are back at full capacity. The House ABC Committee will continue to advocate for NC businesses and plans to file additional relief legislation to help even more restaurants, bars, and businesses across the state recover from the COVID pandemic.”
“This is welcome news for these struggling business owners,” said Majority Leader John Bell. “I appreciate the hard work of Representative Moffitt and other bill sponsors to get this much-needed legislation signed into law. These small businesses continue to face significant challenges due to the Governor’s restrictions, and it is critical we continue to support and stand with them during these difficult times.”
“This legislation will provide many struggling businesses a much-deserved continuation of the deferral on their ABC permit fees,” said Representative Jamie Boles. “We know this will not repair all the damage that has been done, but any help we can provide to these bars and restaurants will go a long way in helping our communities recover.”
“I am elated that House Bill 4 became law today,” said Rep. Paré. “I am even more happy for all of the small businesses that will benefit from this law. HB 4 will provide flexibility to private bars that were crushed by COVID and numerous executive orders. I look forward to continuing my work to support small businesses at the Legislature and provide relief to those affected by the pandemic.”
Background: House Bill 4 was filed on January 27 by Rep. Tim Moffitt (R-Henderson), along with primary sponsors Rep. John Bell (R-Wayne), Rep. Jamie Boles (R-Moore), and Rep. Erin Paré (R-Wake). The legislation was drafted in response to news in January that countless bar owners had their liquor permits revoked unexpectedly by the ABC Commission due to delinquent fees. House Bill 4 passed unanimously through the House and Senate and was signed into law by Governor Roy Cooper on February 25. The legislation goes into effect immediately, with Section 1 retroactively becoming effective June 30, 2020.