Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot has lent his support to a County Council request that the state extend the alcohol delivery and carryout provisions allowed during the COVID-19 emergency, according to a post on the comptroller’s Facebook page.
The council made the request, which was signed by all nine councilmembers, in a May 22 letter to Franchot (D) and Gov. Larry Hogan (R).
A March 16 Executive Order closed all bars and restaurants. The governor then modified the order on March 19 to permit carryout sales or delivery of alcohol.
The council, in a letter spearheaded by Councilmember Andrew Friedson (D-District 1), requested the governor to extend the order to allow the state legislature to consider how to make it permanent.
“Even after the State of Emergency is lifted, the service industry will continue to suffer the lingering effects on consumer confidence, along with a likely continued reluctance for residents to patronize restaurants due to ongoing public health concerns,” the council wrote.
In his Facebook post, Franchot wrote, “As your Comptroller and chief alcohol regulator, I wholeheartedly agree with the premise of the letter and am happy to support the request. This has been a lifeline for small businesses that otherwise would have failed in the early weeks of this pandemic, and it must remain so as our hospitality industry faces years, and not just months, of transition, uncertainty and hopeful recovery.”