Mayor Lockwood issues orders to help businesses affected by COVID-19
Mayor Joe Lockwood on Monday ordered the suspension of four ordinances in an effort to support Milton's businesses community. Here is his statement:
"Today, exercising authority given me by our City Council, I took the first of what could be many steps to support Milton businesses. Every business in Milton, in its own way, contributes significantly to the special culture, sense of community, and vibrancy of our City. As such, it's my responsibility to do what I can to give them the flexibility and support that they need right now.
"The COVID-19 emergency has been tough on everyone, but especially those in the restaurant and retail industries. These four orders aim to assist them, after we determined them necessary - as the orders state - 'to promote the safety, protection and well-being of the inhabitants of the city.' Specifically, they will:
- Permit the equivalent of 'take out' alcohol sales at Milton table-service restaurants - so that customers can purchase sealed bottles of wine and beer without having to go inside. This also means restaurant owners would not have to apply for a 'package' permits.
- Allow reasonable new temporary signs, allowing establishments to bypass the normal permitting process and the need to walk into City Hall. These signs - which must apply to current standards -- could tell people about things like altered hours of operation, special pricing, parking directions, take-out options, or simply that a place is open.
- Officially extend the deadline renewing Occupational Tax Certificates - a.k.a. business licenses - from March 31 through April 30. While City staff continue to process such renewals, this move should give business owners more financial flexibility and one less thing to worry about.
- Authorize restaurants with on-premise alcohol consumption licenses to defer their monthly excise tax payments for 'by the drink' sales beginning March 2020 to April 30, 2020.
In fact, all these orders are temporary. They're only in effect as long as the City - and our businesses - need them during this emergency, unless they're extended.
At the same time, we are well aware that this is a marathon, not a sprint. None of these measures will resolve every challenge that Milton businesses face. There is still much beyond our control. Still, these are things that the City government can control. In the coming days and weeks, we'll look for more opportunities to make policy changes that can make a positive impact. Milton's businesses, not to mention Milton's citizens, deserve nothing less."
- Click to read the order on 'take out' alcohol sales
- Click to read the order on signage
- Click to read the order on business license renewals
- Click to read the order on alcohol excise taxes
For the latest on the City of Milton's response to COVID-19, visit the City webpage dedicated to this topic (https://www.cityofmiltonga.us/coronavirus), as well as the City of Milton's Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/thecityofmiltonga/) and Twitter feed (https://twitter.com/cityofmiltonga).