Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s liquor buy-back program for Michigan bars and restaurants has given $3.3 million in temporary financial relief to on-premise liquor license holders. 

According to the state, 657 bar and restaurant owners applied for the buy-back program, which allowed them to get the money back for spirits purchased from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission before March 16. They have until 90 days after the emergency order lifts to pay back the funds, interest free. 

“I know the financial losses have been incredibly devastating to business owners in the hospitality industry during this COVID-19 pandemic,” Whitmer said in a press release issued Monday. “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.”

The release stated that the “financial lifeline” averaged more than $5,000 for each business that applied for the program. 

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Twitter: @melodybaetens 

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