Today, Swearingen announces that legislation he introduced, the “Business Expansion and Safety Act,” was signed into law by the governor in a virtual signing ceremony. The bill passed out of the General Assembly and was sent to the governor’s desk last month. The Business Expansion and Safety Act will help all of the businesses and workers involved in one of the industries most impacted by the pandemic – restaurants and bars.

The bill will allow bars, restaurants, breweries and wineries to have greater flexibility in their operations and assist them moving forward during and after COVID regulations.

“I am grateful to the governor for signing this critical legislation into law,” said Swearingen. “This bill is going to help our main street businesses, restaurant industry, and all of the waiters, waitresses, bartenders and Ohioans that rely on that industry to pay their bills."

The Business Expansion and Safety Act would do the following:

  • Allows for retail permit holders to utilize more outside space on private or public property with approval from the local township or municipality while serving customers; and

  • Allows for third party delivery of alcohol for those over the age of 21 along with the purchase of a meal.

The bill has received support from several groups throughout the committee process including the Ohio Restaurant Association, Ohio Licensed Beverage Association, the Greater Ohio Policy Center, the Buckeye Institution, and others.

Swearingen originally introduced the legislation back in May earlier this year after businesses had been facing severe restrictions due to the state of emergency order that was issued, which caused mass closures and capacity limitations.

“We have seen the detriment COVID-19 has caused and this will help our restaurants and other businesses as they make a comeback from this pandemic.”

The legislation includes an emergency clause and will become law effective immediately.

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