AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – They’ve been given the business by the pandemic, now city leaders say restaurants and bars need some relief.

“They’re hurting, and we need to help them. They were shut down, you know, for many months in 2020,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.

So to help these business, commissioners approved waiving alcohol license fees this year.

“The license fees will be grandfathered in for 2021 and if they paid for 2021 they get their money back,” said Frantom

Commissioners have been talking for months on helping these business and were quick to approve the waiving of the alcohol license fees.  

“I support this. I think this is a good way to hopefully save some of these business from going under,” said Commissioner Brandon Garrett.

The businesses pay thousands of dollars in fees a year for full liquor licenses, with the city collecting about $1.2 million dollars in revenue, now the city is blowing up this year’s budget less than  a week into the new year.

“I think we already know the city budget is going to be blown up with everything going on, we’re shooting in the dark based on the pandemic and where it’s at,” said Commissioner Frantom.

“That is a lot of money,  Its an investment in our businesses that support Augusta,” said Commissioner John Clarke.

Certain businesses anyway.