Whitmer gives millions restaurant

Gov. Whitmer’s unique liquor buyback program will put thousands of dollars back in the pockets of each local restaurant owner.

MICHIGAN — Michigan’s struggling bar and restaurant owners will soon be the recipients of more than $3.3 million in financial relief, thanks to a new plan from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The money is to be distributed among 657 bar and restaurant owners across the state – an estimation of about $5,000 per business.

“I know the financial losses have been incredibly devastating to business owners in the hospitality industry during this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Whitmer. “I am pleased that through this innovative program, we can provide much-needed cash to hundreds of Michigan’s bars and restaurants that are struggling right now, to help tide them over until they’re open for business again.”

How the Program Works 

The program offers a 100% cash buyback to on-premise liquor licensees for spirits they had ordered from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) prior to March 16, when the outbreak surged and Gov. Whitmer ordered dine-in services temporarily suspended.

 Licensees actually keep possession of the products the Commission bought back, with no bottles being picked up. Bars and restaurants have 90 days after emergency declarations are lifted to repurchase the inventory by selling it when they’re back open for business and pay the Commission back interest free.

“The Commission is proud to be a part of the governor’s one-of a kind liquor buyback,” said MLCC Chair Pat Gagliardi. “We’re extremely pleased to provide these neighborhood bars and restaurants across Michigan a financial lifeline they can count on in these uncertain times.” 

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) is administrator of the governor’s spirits buyback program.