Reaction to Gov. Wolf’s New Statewide Restrictions on Restaurants and Bars
While action to prevent spread of disease is understandable, it should be done by county
HARRISBURG (July 15, 2020) – Today Governor Tom Wolf announced new tightened restrictions on all Pennsylvania restaurants limiting indoor capacity to 25%, and the closing of bars that don’t serve dine-in meals taking effect tomorrow at midnight. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), which represents 14,000 small businesses in Pennsylvania including many restaurants and bars, reacted to the Governor’s announcement. The following are quotes from NFIB’s State Director Gordon Denlinger:
“The health concerns over increased cases are certainly valid, but since the very existence of so many restaurants and bars are now at stake, we believe these preventative measures should be targeted to the counties or regions where the health data justifies them. The Governor said today he decided to impose the restrictions statewide due to a broad pattern of rising cases, but today’s state stats show just one new case in Cameron, Potter and Tioga Counties, while Allegheny County has 246. Restaurants cannot survive on 25% of capacity for indoor dining so this could be the last straw, forcing them out of business in areas where infection rates are still low. This broad-brush approach also is damaging to all restaurants that don’t focus on alcohol sales or cater to young people late at night.
“At a minimum, the state must devise a plan to offer financial relief to the small businesses most affected by Governor Wolf’s decisions related to COVID-19 business closures and restrictions. These businesses have gone so many months with little or no revenue through no fault of their own, yet the business owners are about to lose everything they ever worked for, and their employees and communities will also suffer.”