Advance Notice: Briefs

State to buy back alcohol to help ailing bars, restaurants

By: - April 14, 2020 10:49 am

Karen Ducey/Getty Images

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered bars and restaurants closed to in-person dining on March 16, followed by a broader stay home order on March 24 to stop the spread of COVID-19. To ease the huge financial strains on bars and restaurants, the state is now buying back alcohol.

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission (LCC) is tasked under a new executive order, announced Monday evening, to start a spirits buy-back program for alcohol purchased before March 16. The businesses participating would have 90 days after the state of emergency and disaster are lifted to buy back their products from the LCC.

“Michigan’s 8,500 on-premises liquor licensees continue to make unprecedented sacrifices to help slow the spread of COVID-19 across our state,” Whitmer said. “This buy-back program will help our bars and restaurants critical to Michigan’s economy weather the storm through this challenging time in our history.”

On Monday, Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) director Jeff Donofrio said more than 1 million Michigan workers have filed unemployment claims as of Monday. 

Bars and restaurants have until 5 p.m. Friday to request the LCC buyback, using this online form. The Liquor Control Commission is slated to meet Tuesday to discuss and create a plan of action for the executive order.

Licensees must make their request no later than 5 p.m. Friday, using an online form on the LCC website.

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Anna Liz Nichols
Anna Liz Nichols

Anna Liz Nichols is a former Michigan Advance intern. She is a Michigan State University graduate who has reported for several publications, including MLive and Michigan State University’s award-winning student paper, the State News, where she covered the many tendrils of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.