This evening, the Providence City Council passed a resolution requesting that the State of Rhode Island take an active role in easing the liquor license renewal process for Rhode Island restaurants. This is another step the Providence City Council is taking to simplify this process for local businesses. The resolution was introduced by Councilman Pedro Espinal (Ward 10) and co-sponsored by Council President Sabina Matos (Ward 15), Council President Pro Tempore Michael Correia (Ward 6), Council Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5), Councilor David Salvatore (Ward 14), Councilwoman Carmen Castillo (Ward 9), Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune (Ward 3), Councilman James Taylor (Ward 8), Councilwoman Katherine Kerwin (Ward 12), Councilor Rachel Miller (Ward 13) and Councilman John Goncalves (Ward 1).
“Right now, we need to be doing everything we can to help local businesses stay open. Too many restaurants have been forced to close down, or are barely getting by. That is why myself and my Council colleagues have proposed this resolution to provide some relief to restaurant owners,” stated Councilman Pedro Espinal.
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, restaurants in the City of Providence and throughout the State of Rhode Island have been operating under significant duress. Further adding to this hardship is the upcoming deadline for liquor license renewals which takes place on December 1 every year. This process requires not only the payment of a fee, but also a letter of good standing from the Rhode Island Division of Taxation. This resolution requests that Governor Raimondo waive the requirement for a letter of good standing from the Division of Taxation.
“This resolution is an effort to remove another roadblock for restaurant owners trying to renew their liquor licenses. It is imperative that we protect the sale of alcoholic beverages at license-holding establishments as they have become integral to the business models of so many restaurants operating under pandemic restrictions,” added Councilman John Goncalves.
In September, the City Council passed a resolution requesting that the Providence Board of Licenses work with local businesses to create sustainable payment plans for liquor license renewal fees.
“With these two initiatives, it is our hope that Rhode Island restaurant owners will find some relief as their liquor licenses come up for renewal next month. I hope that leaders at the State and local levels will continue to collaborate to further support business owners in the City of Providence and the State of Rhode Island through the COVID-19 Pandemic,” stated Council President Pro Tempore Michael Correia.