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Burzichelli, Chiaravalloti Bill to Expand Business Options for Food and Beverage Industry during Pandemic Approved by Assembly

Helping businesses in the food and business industry who have had to change the way they operate as a result of pandemic protocols, Assemblymen John Burzichelli and Nicholas Chiaravalloti sponsored a bill authorizing certain on- and off-premises event privileges for the holders of winery, limited brewery, craft distillery, or cidery and meadery license.

The bill (A-4319) cleared the full Assembly Monday, 58-8-7.

“Overnight, stores were asked to shutter their doors and forced to rethink their business models,” said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem). “For breweries and wineries, the closure of dining rooms and taprooms had to be shifted to takeout and delivery services in order to survive these unprecedented times. We can further assist by lifting other restrictions and allowing them to host events bringing in additional revenue to their business.”

Under the measure, licensees would be permitted to host an unlimited number of on-premises events, defined as an activity that is open to the public and held on the licensed premises or other outdoor areas, including but not limited to a parking lot owned by the licensee and is adjacent to or adjoining the licensed premises. Non-ticketed on-premises events would not require approval from or notification to the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).

“We’ve all had to think outside of the box when it came to managing the challenging times of this pandemic— the food and beverage industry, especially,” said Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson). “Enabling breweries and wine vineyards to expand their services will help offset both the current and long-term financial burdens faced by these small businesses.”

The bill will now go to the Senate for further consideration.