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Financing

What each state is doing to help restaurants harmed by COVID-19

Many are loosening liquor laws and extending tax deadlines, and some are offering low- or no-interest loans or grants. See what forms of assistance are available in your state.
Photograph by Heather Lalley

Without any overriding guidance from the federal government, individual states have been on their own when it comes to determining policies for dealing with the coronavirus. A vast majority of them have chosen to close restaurants to all but delivery and takeout, dealing a major blow to the industry. But very few of those states are offering much in the way of assistance to restaurants, a Restaurant Business analysis found. 

The most common concessions being made by states are allowing for the sale of alcohol for delivery and takeout as well as the extension of deadlines for filing and paying taxes. About a dozen states are offering emergency loans for eligible small businesses, including restaurants. Just a few have set aside funding for restaurants specifically.

On the federal level, small businesses in all U.S. states and territories are eligible to apply for low-interest emergency loans via the Small Business Administration (SBA). And the $2 trillion aid bill passed by Congress also has provisions that can help restaurants.

Here’s a look at what each state is doing to help restaurants during the outbreak.

Alabama

The Alabama Department of Revenue waived late-payment penalties for sales tax for small retail businesses, including restaurants. Alabama also moved back the deadline for filing state income taxes to July 15. 

Alaska 

N/A other than federal SBA assistance.

Arizona

The state approved a $50 million coronavirus relief package that includes funding for small businesses. More specific information was not available at the time of publication. Restaurants are also allowed to sell alcohol for delivery and takeout. Additionally, the Arizona Department of Revenue moved the income tax filing and payment deadline to July 15.

Arkansas

The state is offering business loans of up to $250,000 through its Quick Action Loan Program, with priority given to small and medium-sized businesses that provide essential goods and services. Arkansas also extended the deadline for filing and paying individual income taxes to July 15.

California

The state's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is allowing retailers to return alcoholic beverages to their wholesalers or manufacturers. It is also allowing them to sell alcohol via takeout and delivery. Businesses negatively affected by COVID-19 can also request a 60-day extension for filing payroll reports and paying payroll taxes. The state also extended its tax filing deadline for individuals and business entities to July 15

Colorado

The state is allowing establishments with liquor licenses to sell alcohol for carryout and delivery. It also extended its income tax deadline for businesses to July 15. 

Connecticut

The state is offering no-interest loans for small businesses harmed by COVID-19. Qualifying businesses can apply for a loan of up to $75,000 or three months of operating expenses. Connecticut is also allowing restaurants to sell alcohol for off-premise consumption. The state has also extended its deadline for filing and paying income tax returns to July 15.

Delaware

Delaware is offering loans specifically for hospitality businesses. The Hospitality Emergency Loan Program (HELP) offers no-interest loans of up to $10,000 a month for restaurants, drinking establishments and more. Additionally, the state moved its deadline for filing income tax returns to July 15. 

Florida

The state activated an emergency loan program for small businesses. Eligible businesses can apply for no-interest loans of up to $50,000. Florida also extended sales and property tax payment deadlines.

Georgia

Georgia extended its income tax filing and payment deadline to July 15.

Hawaii 

Hawaii extended its deadline for income tax filing and payment to July 20.

Idaho 

The state extended its income tax filing and payment deadline to June 15 and the deadline for property tax relief applications to June 15.

Illinois

The state’s Hospitality Emergency Grant Program provides up to $25,000 to eligible bars and restaurants (and up to $50,000 for eligible hotels) to help pay for payroll and rent, as well as job training and enhanced technology to support increased pickup and delivery. Applications were due by April 1. The state also extended the tax filing deadline to July 15.

Indiana

Indiana restaurants are allowed to sell alcohol via carryout. The state's income tax filing and payment deadline was extended to July 15.

Iowa

The state established the Iowa Small Business Relief Program to help businesses affected by COVID-19. Grants range from $5,000 to $25,000. It also delayed first-quarter unemployment tax payments for small businesses to July 31 from April 30. The deadline for filing and paying individual income, corporate income and franchise taxes was extended to July 31. Restaurants are allowed to return alcohol to wholesalers under certain circumstances, as well as sell alcohol for off-premise consumption. Reporting and remittance of beer barrel and wine gallon taxes were deferred for February and March, and penalties for filing late will be waived for those months.

Kansas

The state is providing no-interest loans of up to $20,000 through its Hospitality Industry Relief Emergency Fund. The loans are specifically for restaurants, taverns and motels impacted by the coronavirus.

Restaurants are allowed to sell alcohol for delivery and takeout. Additionally, income tax filing and payment deadlines were extended to July 15.

Kentucky

Restaurants are allowed to sell alcohol for off-premise consumption via takeout or delivery. The state extended the deadline for filing and paying income tax to July 15.

Louisiana 

Louisiana extended the deadline for filing and paying income tax to July 15.

Maine

The state is partnering with the Small Business Administration to offer loans to businesses affected by the coronavirus. Businesses can apply for loans of up to $50,000 with reduced interest rates as well as loans of up to $100,000 from the state in conjunction with the SBA. Restaurants are also allowed to sell alcohol for delivery and takeout. And Maine extended its deadline for filing and paying income tax to July 15.

Maryland

Maryland established the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund for small businesses whose operations were disrupted by the virus. The $75 million fund offers low-interest loans of up to $50,000. A second state fund of $50 million is offering up to $10,000 in grants to small businesses. The state also extended the deadline for filing and payment of corporate and individual income taxes to July 15.

Massachusetts

The state set up a $10 million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund. It offers up to $75,000 in loans to small business affected by the coronavirus. Massachusetts is also allowing restaurants to delay paying sales and meal taxes for March, April and May until June. The state Legislature is considering a bill that would allow restaurants to sell alcohol via takeout and delivery. And its income tax filing and payment deadline was delayed until July 15.

Michigan

The Michigan Small Business Relief Program is offering $10 million in loans and $10 million in grants to businesses affected by COVID-19. Eligible businesses can receive grants of up to $10,000 and loans between $50,000 and $200,000. The state also extended the deadline for income tax filings and payments to July 15.

Minnesota

Minnesota is offering small business emergency loans, naming restaurants and bars specifically among the businesses that will be eligible to apply. The interest-free loans range from $2,500 to $35,000. The state also granted restaurants a 30-day grace period for paying sales and use taxes due March 20. The new deadline is April 20. Minnesota also announced individuals have until July 15 to file and pay their state income taxes.

Mississippi 

The state moved the deadline to file and pay individual and corporate income taxes to May 15. Interest will not accrue during the extension period, and there will be no penalties.     

Missouri

The state is allowing restaurants to sell unprepared food to the public. It also extended its deadline for filing and paying individual and corporate income taxes to July 15.

Montana

The state extended the deadline for filing and paying individual income tax to July 15.

Nebraska

Gov. Pete Ricketts issued an executive order to provide relief to restaurants and bars. The order extends operating permits from 90 to 180 days, and it waives penalties for late excise tax payments. The order also permits restaurants and bars with liquor licenses to sell alcohol with drive-thru or curbside orders. It also gives restaurants and bars 90 days to pay for wine and spirit deliveries for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. Nebraskans also have until July 15 to file and pay income taxes. 

Nevada

Nevada put a moratorium on all evictions, including commercial properties, through the duration of its state of emergency. 

New Hampshire

The state is allowing restaurants and drinking establishments to sell alcohol via takeout and delivery.

New Jersey

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority board approved new initiatives designed to support businesses and workers facing economic hardship due to the coronavirus. The initiatives include a grant program for small businesses; a zero-interest loan program for midsize companies; support for private-sector lenders and community development financial institutions; funding for entrepreneurs; and a variety of resources providing technical support and marketplace information. Between 3,000 and 5,000 small and midsize businesses could benefit.

New Mexico

The state has extended its deadline to July 15 for filing and paying personal and corporate income taxes. Withholding taxes normally due on the 25th of March, April, May and June will now be due July 25. The state will waive any penalties for withholding taxes not remitted during the grace period; however, under state law, interest will accrue from the original due date.

New York

Restaurants can defer the payment of sales taxes without penalties. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also declared a 90-day moratorium on evictions for nonpayment of rent. And state regulations have been waived to allow the takeout and delivery of sealed alcoholic beverages.

North Carolina

North Carolina extended its deadline for filing individual, corporate and franchise taxes to July 15. Unless state law is changed, however, tax payments received after April 15 will be charged accruing interest over the period from April 15 until the date of payment.

North Dakota

North Dakota extended its deadline for filing and paying income taxes to July 15.

Ohio

In wake of bars and restaurants being restricted to takeout and delivery orders, the Ohio Department of Commerce is offering a one-time liquor buyback option. Bars and restaurants were instructed to return their unopened, high-proof liquor products (obtained within the past 30 days) to the agency where they purchased the product. This buyback option is also extended to those with temporary permits for events scheduled between March 12 and April 6. The state also moved the deadline to file and pay state income tax to July 15. 

Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission has authorized the delivery of wine, beers and spirits to consumers 21 and older through April 17. Restaurants and bars specifically may only deliver wine and beer in the original, sealed containers. Delivery of mixed drinks is prohibited, as is payment prior to delivery. Oklahoma also extended its deadline to July 15 for filing and paying income taxes.

Oregon

The state's filing and payment deadline for personal income taxes and corporate income/excise taxes has been moved to July 15. Any interest and penalties begin accruing on July 16.

Pennsylvania

Funding is available to help small businesses impacted by the coronavirus through a new program under the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority’s Small Business First Fund. The Commonwealth Financing Authority authorized the transfer of $40 million to the Small Business First Fund for the COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program. The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority authorized making $60 million available to provide loans of $100,000 or less to for-profit businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees.

Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue waived penalties for businesses that were required to make Accelerated Sales Tax (AST) prepayments by March 20. Additionally, it is waiving the AST prepayment requirement for April sales tax and asking businesses to simply remit the sales tax that they have collected in March.

Pennsylvania has also extended its deadline for filing and paying income taxes to July 15. It is also waiving penalties and interest through the new deadline.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island has extend the deadline for individuals and certain business entities to file and pay income taxes to July 15. No penalties and no interest will apply to those who file on or before the new deadline.

South Carolina

Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order that directs the Department of Revenue to waive additional regulations to allow restaurants to offer sealed containers of beer and wine for curbside pickup or to-go orders. This waiver does not apply to open containers or delivery services.

Additionally, the deadline to file income taxes in South Carolina has been extended to July 15. The deadline for other state taxes—such as sales and use, admissions and withholding—has been extended to June 1.

South Dakota

N/A other than federal SBA assistance.

Tennessee

Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order that lifts some alcohol regulations, allowing establishments with a liquor license to sell alcohol via takeout or delivery (with the purchase of food) in closed containers to individuals 21 and older.

Additionally, the Tennessee Department of Revenue extended the due date for filing and paying income, franchise and excise taxes to July 15. Interest and penalties will not be applied to returns filed and payments made on or before this new deadline.

Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott directed the Texas Department of State Health Services to issue guidance allowing restaurants to sell bulk retail products—such as meat, fruit, vegetables and dry goods—from supply chain distributors directly to consumers provided that such foods are in their original condition, packaging or presented as received by the restaurant.

Additionally, the Texas comptroller’s office is offering assistance to businesses that are struggling to pay the full amount of sales taxes they collected in February. Assistance includes short-term payment agreements and, in most instances, waivers of penalties and interest.

Utah

The deadline for individuals and business entities in Utah to file and pay taxes has been extended to July 15. Interest and penalties have also been waived for returns filed and payments made on or before this new deadline.

Vermont

Vermont extended the deadline for filing income taxes, as well as homestead declarations, property tax credits and renter rebate claims, to July 15.

Virginia

To support small restaurants, the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority is waiving regulations to allow restaurants to offer beer and wine via takeout and delivery.

Additionally, businesses impacted by COVID-19 were given the opportunity to defer the payment of state sales tax due March 20 for 30 days. If the request is granted, businesses have until April 20 to file, with a waiver of any penalties. The due date for individual and corporate income tax was also extended, to June 1; however, interest will still accrue.

Washington

Gov. Jay Inslee announced a series of measures to provide relief to Washington state businesses. One of the measures allots up to $5 million of the governor’s Strategic Reserve Funds to be made available as small grants to small businesses to help prevent closure because of the coronavirus.

West Virginia

West Virginia's deadline to file income tax returns and make payments for individuals, trusts/estates and corporations has been extended to July 15. Penalties and interest will accrue beginning July 16 for late filing and payments.

Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., a public-private agency, established the Small Business 20/20 Program. It will offer eligible businesses up to $20,000 in grants to pay for up to two months of payroll and rent.

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue extended income tax payment and return due dates to July 15. It is also taking additional measures to help small businesses with sales tax payments due on March 31. Small businesses can request an extension of April 30 to file sales and use tax returns due March 31, as well as an extension of June 1 for returns due April 30.

Wyoming

N/A other than federal SBA assistance.

Additional resources

What’s in the federal coronavirus relief bill for restaurants?

How to apply for a federal relief loan

A state-by-state guide to COVID-19 resources for the food and beverage industry

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