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Legislation to help restaurant & hospitality industry

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Posted at 4:57 PM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 17:40:43-05

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — The second shutdown really took a toll on business at the Glen Park Tavern in Williamsville.

The restaurant's co-owner, Ellie Grenauer, said she watches TV everyday hoping for the passage of another PPP.

"It was so hard, I really seriously considered closing," she said. "We were dying. People would go to Niagara County and eating in. I mean we still have very loyal customers, but you know the reality is people want to eat inside in a restaurant."

And the restaurant is bustling, as they reopened for indoor dining last Friday.

State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt visited the Glen Park Tavern on Friday to share plans and a legislation package to help small businesses in the restaurant and hospitality industries.

"We're calling on the members of the majority across the aisle," he said. "There's no reason we cannot come together bipartisanly and pass this package of bills which would do a lot to provide a shot in the arm and some relief for our restaurants and hospitality."

Some of the legislation includes giving small businesses additional time to pay monthly sales and payroll taxes.

Another is offering interest-free loans, as well as providing a one-year extension for renewal of liquor licenses and giving businesses a 90-day grace period to pay any fees or penalties due to state and local agencies.

"Nothing that they're presenting is going to crush the state financially," said Grenauer.

"This is not a handout, this is about righting a wrong that was created by government," said Senator George Borrello.

Grenauer said she hopes this legislation would provide some relief, and right now she's thrilled to have guests back in her restaurant.

"I mean we're about service, right? That is what our restaurant does is serve people," she said.