It’s a matter of survival for some small businesses during these unprecedented times, especially our bars and restaurants. We get it, and want to help.
That is why I was happy to see the South Milwaukee Common Council unanimously support two measures at last week to reduce license fees for bars and restaurants.
In short, the city is reducing the cost of Class B and Class C liquor licenses to $50 each (from $100 for Class B and $500 for Class C) for the 2020-21 licensing year. We are also reducing environmental health licensing fees by 50% for restaurants.
In both cases, the city is making up the difference with contingency funds, with the expected budget impact estimated at $27,000.
This is important to do now because those fees must be paid in coming weeks, as business owners look for ways to reduce expenses during the pandemic. This does that, and may result in more than $1,000 in savings for some bars and restaurants.
We are supporting businesses in other ways as well, including shopping local more than ever, where we can, as a city. Also …
- We continue to offer basic sign printing to impacted small businesses. For more information, business owners can contact the Street Department at 414-768-8075.
- The special edition of the “Bridges” newsletter — focused on promoting small businesses with free ad space; more than 50 took part — arrived in mailboxes in the last few days. Here is an online version. Look for the first regular edition early this summer.
- We’re reshaping the Economic Development page on the city website to add a number of resources for small business owners, and will continue to add updates in the days and weeks ahead.
- And we continue to lift up local businesses through promotion via the Shop Local South Milwaukee Facebook page, and MJ Media has launched the 53172.org website.
We are looking at other measures in coming weeks, and welcome ideas for how we can support our small businesses — the backbone of our local economy. Now, more than ever.