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State Issues

The NHLRA  is dedicated to promoting and protecting the restaurant and hospitality industry in New Hampshire. By advocating for public policies that sustain our industry, and by working on behalf of local businesses, we are the voice of hospitality at the local, state and national levels. 



NHLRA's Recent Legislative Successes


  • In 2009, after the House passed a rooms and meals tax increase to 9% by just 1 vote, it was clear that the legislature was going to raise the tax in spite of widespread industry opposition. In an effort to mitigate the negative impact on the industry, NHLRA negotiated a commitment from the legislature that 3.15% of the annual Meals & Rentals Tax were to be dedicated to the budget of the Division of Travel & Tourism Development to ensure continued growth in the State‚Äôs investment in Tourism promotion.

  • In 2009, NHLRA successfully eased the Strict Liquor Liability standard that had been in place in New Hampshire since Prohibition. Under the Strict Liquor Liability standard it did not matter if you had inadvertently served an intoxicated individual on your premises, you were still responsible for that individual and faced administrative action against your license. NHLRA successfully advocated for a more reasonable standard where there had to be visible signs of intoxication or intent to over-serve an individual before administrative action could be taken on the license.

  • In 2011, NHLRA successfully worked with the Legislature to repeal advertising restrictions for alcoholic drink special prices advertised by restaurants. Alcohol advertising restrictions were also a legacy of Prohibition and had long been a problem for restaurateurs. Small business owners were regularly penalized for inadvertent mentions of drink prices or specials in advertising.

  • The NHLRA Board of Directors has long opposed Casino Gambling believing that the resulting negative impacts will harm the hospitality and tourism industry in New  Hampshire, and specifically the small locally owned businesses that make up the majority of our membership. Each year NHLRA works with a broad coalition to oppose Casino Gambling in New Hampshire and to date the New Hampshire House has never authorized a Casino.





NHLRA Government Relations Team


The NHLRA retains a full time Lobbyist who works closely with the NHLRA President & CEO, Board of Directors and Government Affairs Committee to develop strategies for opposing potentially harmful legislation and working to see that supportive legislation is passed.




Henry Veilleux is a partner of the Sheehan Phinney Capitol Group, a government affairs firm located in Concord, NH. Henry has been lobbying in New Hampshire for 22 years and has been the NHLRA's lobbyist since 1999. He is our eyes and ears in the New Hampshire Legislature and works closely with the Governor's Office and state agencies. Henry prepares our weekly legislative update and provides advice and counsel to the association and members who have issues with state government. 




Mike Somers joined the NHLRA team in November of 2008, bringing with him a background in restaurants and the wine and spirits industry. Mike is the President & CEO and oversees the day-to-day operations of the Association, coordinates legislative efforts with Henry Veilleux, serves on a number of Boards and Commissions, and delivers the long term goals and objectives of the Association as determined by the Board of Directors.
Mike may be reached via e-mail at or telephone at 603-228-9585 ext 17.











If you are interested in always being up to date on the latest issues that affect the restaurant and hospitality industry, please consider becoming a member of the NHLRA, NRA and/or AH&LA. Please click here for more information regarding association membership.















NHLRA Strategic Partners


New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association

Promote, Protect, Educate.

16 Centre Street, Concord, NH 03301

Phone: 603-228-9585          Fax: 603-226-1829         E-mail:

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