Tavern League Newsroom

The Tavern League is working hard in our local communities across the state of Wisconsin.

TLW Supports the Restriction of Credit Card Swipe Fees
November 10, 2021

The TLW is a member of a Main Street Wisconsin business coalition in support of a bill sponsored by Sen. Dan Feyen (R-Fond du Lac) and Rep. Tyler Vorpagel (R-Plymouth) to restrict swipe fees to retailers on the state tax portion of a transaction.
Assembly Bill 587 and Senate Bill 572 would:
Prohibit a “swipe fee” from being imposed against a merchant on the tax portion of a transaction when a purchase is made from the merchant using a credit card. The bill also prohibits a “swipe fee” from being imposed on the portion of any transaction that is a fee imposed by a city, village, town or county. Any person that violates this prohibition may be required to forfeit not more than $200 for each violation.
Wisconsin’s retailers are required to collect and remit taxes to the state, making them Wisconsin’s tax collectors. Providing this service to the state comes at a cost to the retailer, especially when a purchase by a consumer is made with a credit card. Credit card companies assess a fee to every transaction made with a credit card, including the tax portion of the transaction. Wisconsin’s Main Street retailers are losing money, while the credit card companies profit on the collection of state taxes.
It is estimated that swipe fees cost retailers $36.74 million in 2019 and $50.79 million in 2020 to processors for collecting taxes due to the state of Wisconsin. Credit card usage increased during the COVID-19 pandemic and increases in general with higher prices. As prices increase, the losses to retailers increase while credit card companies see higher profits.
Assembly Bill 587 and Senate Bill 572 prohibit a swipe fee from being imposed against a merchant on only the tax portion of a transaction when a purchase is made using a credit card. This does not impact transactions made with a debit card. Please take some time to contact your legislator and urge support for Assembly Bill 587 and Senate Bill 572 to help Main Street Wisconsin retailers. Small businesses in Wisconsin should not have to pay additional swipe fees for state-imposed fees or taxes.

Milestones and Celebrations at the 2021 Fall Convention
October 28, 2021

It was beyond wonderful to see everyone at the 2021 Fall Convention and Tradeshow in Appleton last month where we had a record 891 registrants! Check out all the photos on the TLW Facebook page, capturing special moments like Pete Madland's retirement party, the trade show and overall fun.
  • There wasn't a dry eye in the house as we said farewell to Pete Madland during his retirement party.
  • Keith Kern, owner of Jimmy’s Saloon in Superior was elected to serve the TLW as President for a two-year term.
  • We raised thousands of dollars for charities
  • and the Wisconsin Tavern League Foundation
  • through generous donations and participation in
  • the Foundation Raffle. In addition, $53,817 was raised for the TIPAC!
  • The trade show was bustling with 101 vendor booths — up from 2019’s Fall Convention. Of those, several were new vendors who had not attended before and ended up joining the TLW as affiliate members.

Keith Kern is New President of the Tavern League of Wisconsin
October 13, 2021

The Tavern League of Wisconsin (TLW), a non-profit trade association dedicated to serving the needs of the retail beverage alcohol segment of the hospitality industry in the State of Wisconsin, announces that Keith Kern, owner of Jimmy’s Saloon in Superior, Wis., has been elected to serve the TLW as President for a two-year term.

Prior to his election, which took place last week as part of the TLW 2021 Fall Convention, Kern served TLW as its Eighth District Director and as President of the Superior/Douglas County Tavern League. He has also spent the last five years as a member of the Superior City Council.

Kern grew up helping out at Jimmy’s Saloon which his family has owned for 30 years. In 2004, he started managing operations full-time and then purchased the business in 2016.

For Kern, growth for the TLW means a focus on the association as a whole. “Forward thinking and problem solving are going to be key for the future of the Tavern League,” he says. “We need to work better at communication on all levels and focus on our brand. People need to know who we are, what we do, and the key part our industry plays around the state to improve our communities.”

Kern replaces Chris Marsicano, former owner of Village Supper Club in Delavan, Wis. who served as TLW president from 2015 – 2021.

Dane County Issues New Mask Mandate
August 17, 2021

Public Health Madison/Dane County has just issued a new indoor mask mandate, for all individuals age 2 and over. The order takes effect Thursday, August 19, and will remain in effect through September 16.
Businesses are required to develop and implement a written policy and procedure that ensures employees are provided with and wear face coverings. Business are also required to post signage notifying the public that face coverings are required on property.
Read more here, and the order here.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announces closure of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund
July 1, 2021

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is announcing the closure of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Through the American Rescue Plan Act, the SBA launched the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. SBA received over 370,000 applications from restaurant owners across the United States.
The program provided critical funding to over 105,000 restaurants representing $28.6 billion dollars. The program supported 3,777 small restaurants with gross receipts of less than $50,000 in 2019.
Due to overwhelming demand, the SBA was unable to fund all qualified applications with the original appropriation provided in the American Rescue Plan Act. Those applicants who have not received funding as of this email will have their applications held within the application platform to allow for processing in the order received if additional funds are provided by Congress.
The Restaurant Revitalization Fund application platform will remain open for the next two weeks to allow applicants to check their status, address payment corrections, or ask questions. The SBA will disable access to the platform on July 14, 2021.
If you applied and have questions, call the SBA at 844-279-8898 or visit https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/restaurant-revitalization-fund. 

How to check the status of your Small Business Recovery Grant application
June 7, 2021

An important update for those who applied for the Small Business Administration Recovery Grants, the application window is now closed. For those of you who have applied and have questions, there are a couple of places where you may find answers. Start by calling the SBA call center at 844-279-8898. You may also find answers at https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/restaurant-revitalization-fund. TLW wishes you the best of luck on all your applications and invites you to reach out with any questions.

Wisconsin Tavern League Foundation gave over $10 million to 25,000 charities in 2020
June 2, 2021

Charitable giving has long been a mainstay of American culture and trade associations have long been champions of giving back to others. The Tavern League of Wisconsin (TLW), however, is a particularly generous bunch. The association provides its members with an opportunity to help others — a chance to change the world — by giving to those in need. Then the Wisconsin Tavern League Foundation boosts those efforts with its Matching Funds Program.
And even though the pandemic wreaked havoc across the industry, as well as on consumers’ wallets in 2020, the TLW is pleased to announce that its Foundation donated over $10 million to almost 25,000 charitable organizations and people in need through the hard work and big hearts of its members, and the Matching Funds Program.
So why does the Tavern League put such an emphasis on charitable giving?

Apply for Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grants through June 7
May 24, 2021

The application window for the Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grants runs through June 7.
The program will award $420 million to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and is intended to support businesses who are hardest hit by the pandemic and are key to Wisconsin making a strong recovery. The program is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) in collaboration with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and is funded with money received from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The grants will provide as many as 84,000 Wisconsin small businesses with annual gross revenue between $10,000 and $7 million with a flat award of $5,000.

TLW partners with Hogs For Heroes to purchase bike for Wisconsin Dells veteran
May 17, 2021

May 23, 2021, Marine Sergeant Rick Erickson, of Wisconsin Dells becomes the 18th Wisconsin veteran to receive a Harley-Davidson motorcycle as part of the Hogs for Heroes program. And for the first time, the Tavern League of Wisconsin has stepped up and raised funds to fully pay for the bike.

Hogs for Heroes will hand him his keys at a special ceremony at the Keg & Patio in the Wisconsin Dells on May 23. Learn more about Rick’s story here. http://www.hogsforheroeswi.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/2021-Erickson-Announcement.pdf

May is Tavern Month: Celebrating the social and economic impact of Wisconsin’s bars, taverns and restaurants
May 10, 2021

Local taverns, bars and restaurants have a long history in Wisconsin as gathering places for celebrating and commiserating while spending time with friends. TLW members also give significantly to charitable organizations and their businesses contribute to the economic prosperity of the state.

Apply for Restaurant Revitalization Funds beginning May 3
May 3, 2021

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that it would begin accepting applications on Monday, May 3, 2021, at noon EDT for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. As part of the American Rescue Plan, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund provides a total of $28.6 billion in direct relief funds to bars, restaurants, and other food establishments that have experienced economic distress and significant operational losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal and State Assistance for Small Business is On the Way
April 25, 2021

Passage of the American Rescue Plan included the $28 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund which will help thousands of small businesses across the country survive the devastating economic impact to the hospitality industry caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Governor Evers Annouces $420 million in Small Business Grants
April 25, 2021

Gov. Tony Evers has announced that the state will award up to $420 million to small businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic through the new Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant program, a collaboration between the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Department of Revenue (DOR).

ABL Welcomes Passage of COVID-19 Package
January 21, 2021

Targeted relief still needed for bars, taverns...

DOR Liquor Sale
December 21, 2020

Wisconsin Dept. of Revenue Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement Unit is again selling a batch of confiscated liquor.

Charted: America’s Biggest Brewers by Decade, From 1950 to Now
November 20, 2018

Big beer has an enormous footprint. We charted data from 1950 to the present to determine the largest brewers by decade, using figures from Beer Marketer’s Insights and BeerHistory.com. The results are staggering.

We put UTAH to the Test
November 9, 2018

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah -- In a conference room at the Unified Police Department, FOX 13 put Utah's new .05 DUI law to the test.

When it goes into effect on New Year's Eve, Utah will have the nation's toughest DUI law, lowering the blood alcohol level from .08 to .05. It's been the subject of protests and pushback across the state, with worries it will harm tourism and jail casual drinkers. But so far, efforts to repeal it or modify it have failed on Utah's Capitol Hill.

America’s Beer, Wine & Spirits Retailers Create 2.03 Million Jobs & $122.63 Billion in Direct Economic Impact
October 24, 2018

BETHESDA, MD – OCTOBER 23, 2018 – As the American economy continues to grow, a new economic impact report released today details the significant impact that America’s beer, wine and spirits retailers have on their local, state and national economies through job creation, direct economic impact and the generation of tax revenues.

American Beverage Institute (ABI) as “one of the biggest opponents of .05 legislation”
October 24, 2018

A Utah Jazz fan drinks a beer while watching a game at Legend Sports Grill in Salt Lake City last year. A new Utah law, which goes into effect Dec. 30, lowers the DUI blood alcohol threshold in the state from .08 to .05, a move that has been praised by traffic safety advocates and denounced by the restaurant and hospitality industry.

U.S. Traffic Fatalities Fall Following Two Years of Rising Toll
October 9, 2018

Deaths on American roads fell by nearly 2 percent last year, blunting two years of increases that had troubled regulators and safety advocates.

Despite Ridiculous Claims, Senate Tax Bill Won’t Kill Thousands of People
November 28, 2017

While trying to derail tax reform, there’s been no shortage of misleading statements and outright falsehoods. But a recent article in the Washington Post might be the most outrageous story to date. The article, titled “Here’s how many people would die as a result of the Senate’s tax cut on booze,” goes after a provision in the Senate bill that would reform excise taxes for brewers, distillers, and winemakers .

MADD Against WI Bill Lowering Drinking Age
November 9, 2017

Wisconsin lawmakers are circulating a bill that would lower the drinking age in Wisconsin to 19. Mothers Against Drunk Driving quickly responded to the bill with strong opposition."We don't support anything that has any kind of acceptable loss of life, " Doug Scoles, Regional Director for MADD told NBC15 over the phone.

SafeRide Advertising Bill – Contact your Legislators
February 9, 2017

News Archives
We use cookies to personalize and improve your experience with our website. You may opt-out of the use of cookies. Learn more in our Privacy Policy.