Atlanta City Council Member Advocates for Nightlife Industry Support

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Keisha Sean Waites

Keisha Sean Waites, an At-Large member of the Atlanta City Council, has drawn attention to the Clayton County Board of Commissioners’ recent efforts to bolster support for the hospitality and nightlife sectors. This move follows a recent amendment to a Clayton County ordinance.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlanta’s restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues bore the brunt of the initial impact. The nightlife scene slowed significantly due to mandatory federal, state, and local stay-at-home orders alongside social distancing guidelines.

At a meeting of the Public Safety and Legal Administration Committee, Council member Waites put forth legislation urging the General Assembly to permit establishments not meeting the 51 percent food sales threshold to operate on Sundays. While the Georgia legislature is in session, Waites aims to advocate for inclusivity and equity, particularly in support of small businesses.

Waites emphasized the critical role of the hospitality and nightlife industries in the metropolitan Atlanta area’s economic vitality. “It is what attracts tourism, conventions, and relocations,” she stated. The proposed Atlanta Hospitality Act seeks to foster formal discussions addressing financial losses, livelihood impacts, and business closures experienced by the nightlife sector during the pandemic. Furthermore, it aims to facilitate dialogue between bar and restaurant owners and city officials regarding potential future legislation altering liquor hours in the city.

“The Hospitality Act has responded positively to the challenges faced by businesses during the pandemic. It’s time to take the next step and ensure equitable opportunities for all establishments,” Waites affirmed.