The Georgia Restaurant Association is praising a decision the Atlanta City Council made last week when it voted to approve legislation repealing a requirement that alcohol license applicants must place an advertisement in the daily paper as a part of the liquor license application process.

The association has been working with District 2 Councilman Amir Farokhi, who authored the legislation to repeal a requirement. Under the old ordinance, businesses applying for a liquor license would not be approved until this step is completed.

The requirement states liquor license applicants must place at least two advertisements on different days in a daily paper published in the city where legal advertisements are carried. The cost to place an advertisement can run from around $800 to $1,500 depending on the content or number of lines in the advertisement.

“This requirement proves to be very costly for restaurants, on top of all of the other fees associated with securing an alcohol license,” Karen Bremer, the association’s CEO, said in a news release. “It is important to eliminate these excessive steps that restaurants have to take in order to get a liquor license.”

The association held a meeting with Farokhi in early September, when the issue was addressed. He understood the concerns from the restaurant community and immediately proposed an ordinance Sept. 17 to repeal this requirement. The ordinance was referred to the council’s public safety committee and was heard by the committee Sept. 25.

Along with the association, several restaurateurs were on hand to provide testimonial and express their favor of Farokhi’s proposed ordinance. The ordinance was approved by the council Oct. 1 and is currently awaiting signature from Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

“It’s the little things that have the greatest impact on our day-to-day lives and leave the most lasting impression as to how we feel about our city,” Farokhi said in a news release. “In that vein, this might seem like a small change, but I believe it will make a big difference for restaurateurs looking to grow their businesses. I am thrilled that we were able to get this bill passed and am grateful to the team at GRA for their part in helping to identify a clear wrong that we’ve now made right.”

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