Report: Brewers and allied businesses could see loss of 651,000 jobs due to coronavirus

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Industry groups say looming tax hikes could lead to brewers, brewpubs closing their doors

Today, the Beer Institute, the Brewers Association, the National Beer Wholesalers Association and the American Beverage Licensees released a report from a leading economic firm showing more than 651,000 jobs supported by the U.S. beer industry will be lost by the end of the year due to coronavirus

These job losses include more than 3,600 brewing jobs, 1,800 distributing jobs and 400,000 retail-related jobs.

The report forecasts the Covid-19 pandemic will result in retail beer sales declining by more than $22 billion.

While sales have been strong at liquor stores and supermarkets, restaurant and bar closings and people not going out, even when restrictions are loosened have contributed to the downturn.

“Although millions of Americans continue to enjoy beer responsibly every day, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the beer industry has seen a dramatic decline both in sales and jobs that rely on our nation’s most popular alcohol beverage,” said Jim McGreevy, president and CEO of the Beer Institute. “We hope policymakers consider that our nation’s brewers and beer importers are having to make difficult decisions to adjust for the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Members of Congress should pass legislation to ensure our nation’s beer industry does not face a $154 million annual tax increase next year, and state legislatures should not raise taxes on the beer industry to resolve budget shortfalls. These tax increases will only result in additional job losses for our nation’s brewers and beer importers and the millions of American’s whose livelihood depends on them.”

“Small and independent craft brewers, brewpubs, and tap rooms are in nearly every congressional district across the nation and are vital contributors to their communities, and they directly employ more than 160,000 workers,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association. “Right now, these small businesses are struggling under severe financial and operational limitations to make payroll, continue production and serve their customers. Making a bad situation worse, these businesses face a second looming crisis: an increase to their federal excise taxes in 2021 – less than four months from now. If Congress doesn’t enact the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, businesses that are already struggling will face higher federal excise taxes, causing some businesses to close their doors permanently and threatening tens of thousands of jobs.”

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