Tennessee launches tax-free weekend for food and drink to boost restaurant industry amid COVID-19

Tennessee launches tax-free weekend for food and drink to boost restaurant industry amid COVID-19
Customers are seen at Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant on April 27, 2020 in Franklin, Tennessee. Tennessee was one of the first states to reopen restaurants after the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Many states hold a tax-free weekend ahead of the back-to-school season, offering parents, teachers and school staff a chance to purchase school supplies, clothing and electronics for less.

This year, Tennessee will also have a tax-free weekend for food and drinks, in part to help boost the economy and support the state’s restaurant industry amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Tennessee was one of the first states to reopen restaurants on April 27 after government mandates forced businesses to shut down temporarily due to COVID-19. At the time, the state had recorded about 9,500 cases of the virus. As of Friday, nearly 115,000 cases have been reported in the Volunteer State, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The tax-free weekend is from Aug. 7 to Aug. 9. It applies to restaurants that serve meals and drinks with a seating capacity of at least 40 patrons. “Limited service restaurants” that primarily sell alcohol but also sell food and have at least a 40-person capacity also qualify.

Official guidance notes it is a one-time holiday during 2020 only.