By SCOTT JACKSON
To provide relief to one of the industries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, Quincy will not charge restaurants to renew their liquor licenses next year.
The mayor, in a letter to the board, thanked the licensing board and its administrative staff for working with various restaurants this summer to expand their outdoor seating areas amid the pandemic.
“I heard from a number of my counterparts across the Commonwealth that Quincy set the standard by supporting a re-opening process that was remarkably easy, efficient, and designed specifically to help, not hinder, our businesses,” he said.
With winter approaching, Koch said restaurants will face additional challenges, which is why he asked the renewal fee to be waived.
“These establishments still face a very difficult several months ahead, and waiving this $2,000 renewal fee will help make a small difference in their efforts to endure the ongoing economic consequences of these unprecedented times,” Koch said.
“As you well know, the restaurant industry is a vital component of our local economy. It provides hundreds of jobs and is the primary source of income for many of our neighbors. We have a great responsibility to give them every tool possible to succeed amid this crisis, and I believe even a small measure such as waiving renewal fees will make a real difference.”
City Clerk Nicole Crispo, the chairwoman of the licensing board, said Koch’s request was a generous gift to the city’s restaurant owners.
“I’m sure they will appreciate it,” she said.
Chris Walker, Koch’s chief of staff, said there are 99 restaurants in the city with section 12 licenses, including some with beer and wine licenses. The city will miss out on just under $200,000 by waiving next year’s renewal fees, but Walker said the city’s finances would take a greater hit if restaurants go out of business.
“The concept is to help keep people open,” he said in an email. “If we have a number of closings, the revenue hit will be a lot worse than what we take in renewal fees.”