Craft Beverage Coalition Calls for Day of Action 4/22
Urge Congress to Approve Economic Relief from COVID-19 for Craft Beverage Alcohol Producers
Members of the Craft Beverage Coalition representing the nation’s brewers, distillers, vintners, cidermakers and mead producers are hosting a “Call to Action” on Wednesday, April 22 to urge Congress to provide much needed economic support for the industry. As a result of “stay at home” orders issued by state officials, craft producers are struggling to stay afloat as they take innovative steps to keep the doors open, including curbside pickup and local delivery options as well as the production of hand sanitizers and disinfectant sprays. The CARES Act provided initial relief, but much more must be done. The coalition is asking Congress to provide more economic relief so that businesses can weather this crisis, return to normal operations once the crisis is over, and continue supporting jobs and state economies across the country while providing consumers with their favorite products to enjoy responsibly.
The Coalition is asking Congress to take the following actions:
- Suspend all federal excise tax obligations on domestic and imported alcohol products, effective January 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020 so producers can dedicate scarce resources to payroll and other operating costs.
- Enact a permanent extension of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (H.R. 1175/S. 362), which now has bipartisan support from 74 senators and 343 representatives and would provide certainty amidst economic instability.
- Approve additional funding to support no- and low-interest loan and grant programs administered by the Department of the Treasury and Small Business Administration, including the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
- Authorize the Department of the Treasury to create a Workforce Stabilization Fund for the hospitality and travel sectors that will allow distilleries, breweries, wineries, and cideries to keep workers employed, maintain operations, and meet financial obligations.
- Create temporary tax incentives that encourage consumers to return to on-premise dining and drinking establishments when public health officials determine it’s safe. Examples include reinstating the expanded business entertainment tax deduction and creating a new, temporary travel tax credit equal to 50% of any expense for meals, lodging, recreation, transportation, or entertainment while traveling away from home within the U.S.
- Encourage the Administration to work with our trading partners to simultaneously suspend tariffs on beer, wine, and distilled spirits products and our supply chain partners.
We are not optimistic that we can survive this pandemic, particularly if a second wave hits this fall. The fall is usually our strongest revenue period. Not only is our Cidery and Tasting Room at risk, but our Farm that produces organically true cider apples, varieties that are rare in the U.S.
We are really on the ropes. We need help soon or our business and many like us will disappear.