NY restaurant association talks priorities ahead of new legislative session

State News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Restaurants across New York State continue to weather through tough economic times into the new year. As the new legislative session is set to get started this week, the New York State Restaurant Association is advocating for several measures to keep the industry afloat.  

A new proposal from Senator James Skoufis aims to limit wholesale wine and spirit delivery fees for restaurants and taverns. Wholesalers would be prohibited from charging delivery fees on orders greater than $200 and would be limited to a set fee of $7.50 for orders less than $200. 

The President and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association says it’s one measure that could benefit the industry. 

“We’ve seen those rates vary quite a bit depending on what we’re dealing with, so they could go up to $30, $40 a delivery and then depending on how many deliveries a week you get, it can add up for a restaurant. So, right now, I mean, any little thing we can do like that is going to have an impact if we can add enough of them together,” said NYSRA President & CEO Melissa Fleischut.

Fleischut says the organization is also assessing what has worked well over the past few months. 

“We’re looking at things like alcohol to-go, having that passed through the legislature, instead of just a 30-day executive order from the Governor; that has to be re-upped,” said Fleischut.

She’s also looking at making the expedited permitting process for outdoor dining more permanent and talking to the legislature about tax issues.

“Maybe we could get some tax rebates, tax credits for the expenses we’ve had for outdoor dining, build outs and additional things like that, if possible,” she said.

Additionally, she hopes restaurants will take advantage of the latest round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from the recent federal stimulus package. 

“We look at this as a bridge until we can get the next legislative session here in Albany started and then the new Congress and the new administration at the federal level and try to piece it all back together to get restaurants reopen, safely of course, and then on the road to recovery,” she said.

New York State’s new legislative session will begin on Wednesday. 

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