Senator Helming Fights for Restaurant and Hospitality Industry

Senator Helming joined members of the Senate Republican Conference to unveil a package of legislation to help “Reset New York’s Restaurant and Hospitality Industry.”

“We need to help small businesses not only reopen but stay open. Restaurants and hospitality businesses deserve meaningful relief and assistance to restart, rehire and reinvest. This is about rebuilding our local economies and preserving local jobs,” said Senator Pam Helming.

Watch Senator Helming's remarks

The cornerstone of the legislative package is a bill that would:

  • Exempt small businesses from being penalized with higher unemployment insurance rates due to layoffs resulting from COVID-related, government-mandated closures. The exemption would extend for a period of one year from when they are permitted to return to full capacity;
  • Prohibit internet-based food delivery services from charging higher fees than they charged on or before March 1, 2020;
  • Provide small businesses additional time to pay monthly sales and payroll taxes, as well as, business and property taxes;
  • Offer interest-free loans or lines of credit to small businesses;
  • Provide a one year extension for renewal of liquor licenses; and
  • Provide businesses a 90 day grace period to pay any fees or penalties due to state and local agencies.

Also included in the plan are bills that would:

  • Direct SLA-inflicted fines into a business relief fund to help small businesses get back on their feet;
  • Provide for a credit on liquor license renewals for the amount of time bars and restaurants were forced to be shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic; 
  • Create a limited state sales tax exemption for the sale of food and drink at restaurants and taverns from state sales and compensating use taxes and granting municipalities the option to grant such limited exemption;
  • Provide a tax check off box that will direct funds into a business relief fund; and
  • Create an employee retention tax credit, modeled after the Federal Employee Retention Credit, to help employers keep workers on payroll.