To provide some financial relief, the Pine County board has approved credit to businesses with on-sale liquor licenses that were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These licenses cost $1,500 annually ($125 a month); the credit will cover the three months businesses had to be closed and will lower the 2020 liquor license fees by $375.
"For those businesses that had to be closed, their annual licenses will cost them around $1,125 instead of $1,500," Commissioner Matt Ludwig said during the June 16 County Board meeting. "[It's] not much, but it's not fair to have them pay the license tax if they're not able to have a business open."
This credit will benefit 13 businesses in Pine County and is similar to credits handed out by Isanti, Stearns, and Crow Wing Counties.
According to the county's Investment Committee, the credit will result in $4,875 less revenue to the county.
Board Chair Steve Hallan said the lost revenue won't bankrupt the county, and it won't keep the businesses affect out of bankruptcy. But the credit is meant to be a gesture of good faith towards those businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.