Augusta, Ga (WJBF) Bars and restaurants were hard hit by the pandemic shutdown for weeks by government action city leaders wanting to do something to help them out but were they generous to a fault.
Hundreds of Augusta business have already paid their 2021 liquor license fees, but they’re getting their money back from the city,
Checks will be cut over the next two weeks to a month I was told,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom..
“Will this be helpful to them,”
“Absolutely especially if they’re selling liquor its a substantial amount of money,” said Frantom.
Bill Prince’s liquor licenses cost more than 46- hundred dollars he’s already paid and was shocked to learn about the refund.
“I couldn’t believe it so the next day I called the license department got a lady on the phone I asked her if it was true but I just don’t believe it,” Prince said.
Prince owns a downtown liquor store, not a bar or restaurant, he said because of COVID he did adjust some hours but was never closed by the city or state.
“I like to get the refund I don’t think that’s correct I really don’t the restaurants and the bars we’re told to shutdown and the liquor stores were open and I don’t think its fair,” Prince said.
By waiving the fees commissioners wanted to help bars and restaurants but others stores with alcohol licenses are also benefiting so should this had been targeted to the businesses that were closed.
:Most importantly we got to get the money back to them, same thing with the CARES Act relief money we got to get this money out to have more red tape in the process I didn’t want to support something like that,” said Commissioner Frantom.
City leaders say waving the liquor license fees will cost the city about one point two million dollars in revenue this year in Augusta George Eskola WJBF NewsChannel 6.