The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States released a statement this week highlighting how the organization plans to combat the Coronavirus impact on the U.S. alcohol industry.
“As bars and restaurants across the country close to stop the spread of COVID-19, our primary concerns are ensuring the safety of patrons and hospitality industry employees, and supporting hospitality workers, bars and restaurants during this very difficult time,” says DISCUS President and CEO Chris Swonger. “We are working closely with regulators at the federal and state level to develop plans that ensure operational continuity, minimize disruptions and support economic assistance for hospitality industry workers.
At the federal level, DISCUS says it is:
- Coordinating with TTB to ensure business continuity and minimize disruptions
- Exploring how to minimize regulatory hurdles so that the industry can help address the hand sanitizer shortage
- Exploring with Congress opportunities to support small businesses in the hospitality industry including distilleries and their employees
At the state level, the organization says it is working with states to explore solutions for on and off-premise establishments, such as easing regulations in states to permit curbside pick-up and home delivery to adults of legal purchase age.
For example, DISCUS points out, in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, bars and restaurants will receive a waiver for carry-out alcohol. The council says it is also reaching out to state regulators to seek relief on manual filings or payments that may be difficult as organizations shift to working remotely.