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I just hope their pleas don't fall on deaf ears.

It's no secret that bar owners have been severely impacted by COVID-19. Sure, all of us have been impacted by the pandemic, but bar owners across our state have not only been impacted, but it's safe to say they've been flat-out punished.

While pretty much any and all other forms of businesses have been not only allowed to open, but also helped by the state along the way, Louisiana's bar owners have had their businesses completely shut-down. Their life's work, closed indefinitely, while hundreds of shopping strangers can pack a store shoulder-to-shoulder on Black Friday.

I certainly understand their frustration, and hope they all can find a way to survive this pandemic and open their businesses again.

This week, several bar and microbrewery owners vented their frustrations with COVID restrictions to Louisiana's House Ways and Means Committee.

One of their main pleas to the committee is the fact that if they are allowed to open up, there would be no need for stressful negotiations over relief bills for the unemployed. Lafayette's Rock and Bowl owner Johnny Blanchard says, "“We can put people back to work and then you don’t have to worry about making a budget for unemployment.”

Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild Director Carey Koch pointed out the blatant hypocrisy coming from regulations when it comes to how bars and breweries are being treated in comparison to restaurants. He says, "“I just passed the restaurant around the corner, they are three deep at the bar, there is a line outside of people waiting to get in, and I have a 1,500 square foot building and I can’t let a person inside to have a beer?”

The bottom line here is that bars, nightclubs, and breweries are being treated unfairly by our state, and I hope their suffering is near it's end, somehow, some way.

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