The Beer Institute and other alcohol beverage producers' groups wrote to congressional leadership to ask for a stabilization fund of $5 billion to provide cash advances to their businesses in order to sustain them through the coronavirus pandemic.
“Absent relief, a large number of distilleries, breweries, wineries, and cideries may be forced to permanently close their doors as a result of COVID-19. Producers across the country have begun already shutting down and suspending production as tourism precipitously declines, bars and restaurants close, and Americans stay home to prevent the further spread of COVID-19,” the groups wrote in a letter sent on Wednesday.
They asked that Congress consider expanding unemployment insurance, suspending payroll taxes, providing federal excise tax relief and no- and low-interest loan assistance and creating the $5 billion stabilization fund so businesses have enough receivables to pay their employees and to borrow against.
The alcoholic beverage sector overall supports over 5.4 million jobs and generated more than $562 billion in economic activity in 2018, according to the letter. The beer industry specifically supports more than 2.1 million jobs and contributes over $328 billion annually.
The letter was signed by CEOs from the Beer Institute, Brewers Association, Wine Institute, WineAmerica, Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS), American Craft Spirits Association, American Cider Association and the American Mead Makers Association.
Other industries are also seeking relief because of quarantines and closures due to the coronavirus.
The candy industry, through the National Confectioners Association (NCA), called for $500 million in federal assistance; the franchise industry, through the International Franchise Association, asked for the creation of a $300 billion fund to provide liquidity; and the manufacturing industry, through the National Association of Manufacturers, asked for the creation of a $1.4 trillion fund for loans.
Also, the retail industry, through the National Retail Federation, asked for a direct, government-based loan program, and the restaurant industry, through National Restaurant Association, called for financial relief, loans and tax measures to help it combat the crisis.
Earlier this week, the airline industry, through Airlines for America, requested $50 billion in the form of grants, loans and tax relief, and the tourism industry, through the U.S. Travel Association and the American Hotel and Lodging Association, called for $150 billion.