January 22, 2021
Governor Roy Cooper,
The North Carolina Bar Owners Association says enough is enough. We 1063 Private Bar Owners have had enough of being the ONLY business in North Carolina that cannot allow customers inside. We have had enough of the other 6000 ABC permittees being able to operate, including the State-owned ABC stores, while we remain closed. We have had enough of being blamed for spreading Covid-19 while we have not even been open. We have had enough of being told “science and data” show that we should remain closed, while zero “science and data” has been provided to evidence those claims. We have had enough of watching your administration destroy the lives of thousands of people.
The NC Bar Owners Association understands we are experiencing a pandemic. However, we can and should be allowed the opportunity to operate safely and responsibly just as the other 6000 ABC permittees statewide have been since May 22nd. Continuing to keep us closed is complete economic discrimination.
Even though you are aware but have never acknowledged, Private Bars provide thousands of jobs in this state. We pay hefty state taxes. In addition, we support charities, sponsor sports teams, and supply a very real sense of family and community for the customers and communities we operate in.
It is well past time to reopen us, Governor. Our pleas to grant us the opportunity to even discuss it has been and continue to be, ignored. For months. Over 10 to be exact. We are capable and responsible business owners and citizens of NC.
Other policymakers are now calling for bars and restaurants to operate again. Mayor Lightfoot of Chicago recently began pushing for the immediate reopening of bars. As she correctly states, Covid-19 is being spread in HOMES AND PRIVATE RESIDENCES, which the NCDHHS’s own data shows. People are gathering in homes while bars are closed, whereas we are used to regulating our crowds, even pre-COVID. We can enforce social distancing and provide sanitation policies the same, if not better, than EVERY OTHER business allowed to operate. It is blatant prejudice that you have refused to allow us to earn a living, provide for our families and contribute to the economy over the last 10+ months solely via your “Executive Order”.
Enough is enough. Stop the unequal treatment and REOPEN Private Bars today.