Louisville Metro reduces annual ABC license renewal fees, waives fee for extended hours licenses

October 14, 2020
Bourbon being poured

To help lighten the financial burden on restaurants, bars and other establishments where on-site alcohol consumption occurs, Louisville Metro’s Department of Codes and Regulations is granting a one-time reduction of the annual renewal fee for Alcohol and Beverage Control licenses by 25 percent and is waiving its annual renewal fees for extended hour licenses, a nearly $576,000 impact. This will not apply to packaged alcohol licenses.

All existing licenses also have been granted a no-cost extension until Monday, Nov. 30. Licensees must submit their license renewals to continue alcoholic beverage sales thereafter.

“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and state-mandated shutdowns, some businesses have been unable to operate consistently and continue to face limitations on capacity and hours of operation. Charging for extended hour licenses that they cannot currently use would only add to the financial strains many of our small businesses are facing,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “By lessening the annual renewal fee and waiving fees for the extended hour licenses, we hope to provide those businesses with additional relief.”

For any businesses that qualify for the discounted rate and have already renewed their annual license, the discounted rate will be applied to their next renewal. No refunds will be issued.

In Louisville, there are currently 916 establishments with licenses permitting on-site consumption, and of those, 429 also hold extended hours licenses. These businesses include restaurants, hotels, bars, breweries, convention centers and more.

Licenses permitting on-site consumption range in price from $200 to $2,000 per license depending on the type of business and alcohol served. They only permit alcohol sales until midnight.

Any business that wants to sell alcohol past midnight is required to hold a valid extended hours license. The cost of individual extended hours licenses for by-the-drink sales ranges from $50 to $2,000 depending on the type of alcohol an establishment serves and how late they’d like to stay open; some businesses have multiple extended hours licenses. A statewide executive order does not currently permit on-site alcohol sales after 11 p.m.

“Many of our local businesses continue to struggle from COVID-19 restrictions. Along with the small business grant program and other creative initiatives we’ve put in place since May, reducing and waiving ABC renewal fees is another way the city is helping ease the burden so many of our beloved local establishments are under right now,” said Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, chief of Louisville Forward.

This is the latest measure Louisville Metro Government has taken to help businesses during the pandemic. In July, Louisville Forward launched the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grants and has awarded $22 million in grants to 637 small businesses to date. Louisville Forward also recently launched a low-interest loan program for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

In August, the Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability introduced a new opportunity for restaurants to offer temporary outdoor dining expansions through the utilization of on-street parking spaces. This followed action in May by Louisville Forward and Louisville Metro Council to allow restaurants to setup or expand outdoor seating on private property or in a parking lot without meeting certain planning and zoning requirements. Restaurants with valid ABC license also were allowed to serve alcohol outside in the expanded dining without obtaining additional permitting.

The Department of Public Works also temporarily suspended application fees for restaurants seeking an encroachment permit to add or expand their outdoor seating on public property, including sidewalks, and the city waived Tent Permit fees.

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