Lower and later liquor license fees among latest Arlington Heights relief measures

  • In an effort to soften the blow to restaurants unable to host indoor or outdoor dining, Arlington Heights officials have approved a set of financial relief measures that includes reduced liquor license fees and later payment dates.

    In an effort to soften the blow to restaurants unable to host indoor or outdoor dining, Arlington Heights officials have approved a set of financial relief measures that includes reduced liquor license fees and later payment dates. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 12/26/2020 5:18 PM

Arlington Heights will extend some additional financial relief to local businesses -- particularly restaurants -- amid the ongoing pandemic and resulting second ban on indoor dining.

The plan includes additional rebates on liquor license fees for most license holders and deferral of due dates, as well as allowing later repayments for emergency small business loans.

 

"We know from our contacts in the restaurant community, and just our own observations, that with the forced closure of indoor dining, and with the elimination of outdoor dining due to the weather, cash flow is an issue for many of our restaurants," Village Manager Randy Recklaus said.

The village board last week unanimously approved Recklaus' set of COVID-19 business relief recommendations, which he called "a first step," pending possible federal and state relief measures. And, Recklaus said, his staff will be soliciting additional input from local businesses about ways to help.

The initiative calls for slashing annual liquor license fees by an additional 25% -- on top of a 25% cut the board approved in May -- for all license holders except packaged liquor stores. In some cases, Recklaus said, those retailers are doing better than during a typical year.

The village will also extend the due date for new 2021 liquor license fees for all businesses from April 30, 2021, to June 30, 2021.

"Sometimes that's a large bill to pay," Recklaus said. "We know that some of our businesses kind of make up or save that money during the holiday season when they do a little better, and that's been taken away from them. So we want to provide a little bit of leniency and say those payments can be due in June instead of April."

Last May, the village modified a small business zero-interest loan program, increasing the maximum individual loan amount of $5,000 to $10,000, with a three-year payback period set to begin at the start of the new year. But officials agreed this week to defer the loan payment due date to June 1.

In total, the latest relief measures will cost the village $75,000, and will be funded through general fund reserves in the 2020 budget, Recklaus said.

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