NJRHA Statement on Liquor License System

Press Releases,

New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association Statement on NJ Liquor License System

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                      Contact: Dana Lancellotti, NJRHA President & CEO
March 2, 2023                                                                                                            dlancellotti@njrha.org

TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association President Dana Lancellotti issued the following statement:

“The New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association stands firmly behind our members whose establishments enhance our communities and downtowns by providing diverse dining experiences and award-winning dishes recognized nationally. We also support members who made the significant investment to secure a liquor license under the current system.

Most restaurant owners who hold licenses are family-owned, small businesses whose livelihoods depend on the investment they made under the rules and regulations currently in place. Flooding the market with new licenses will instantly diminish the value of these licenses and financially devastate thousands of small business owners during an already challenging economic climate.

The New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association has and will continue to advocate on behalf of all of our members, including license holders, and has offered the following suggestions to improve the current liquor license system and promote small businesses and economic growth:

•Inactive Licenses: There are currently over 1,400 inactive licenses in municipalities across the State. These licenses should be utilized before there is any discussion about adding new licenses to the market.

•License Portability: Allow for the transfer of inactive licenses between municipalities for redevelopment, improvement, or revitalization zones.

•Investments at Stake: The significant investment made by current license holders must be appropriately recognized. The value of these investments, often held as collateral by financial institutions, will instantly diminish once new licenses are added to the market. We must support these small business owners who will face tremendous losses overnight.

The New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association firmly stands behind and supports licensees who contribute so much to their communities, and we look forward to continued dialogue with the Governor and the legislature.”