Distilled Spirits Council - Coronavirus Update 2020

The Coronavirus is changing the face of our neighborhoods, businesses, careers and our daily lives. With many, many businesses closing parts or all of their businesses thing are changing rapidly. The challenge is the majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. According to a survey done by the ‘American Payroll Association’ more than 74% of employees in America would experience financial difficulty if their paychecks were delayed for a week.*

Distilled Spirits Council - 2019 Payroll Survey Results
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DISCUS Releases a Statement on COVID-19

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States President & CEO Chris Swonger issued the following statement on COVID-19

“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, supporting hospitality workers, bars and restaurants during this very difficult time.

“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.”

DISCUS is working at the federal level to address many of these issues.

  • 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

In addition to the federal level work the association is working at the state level. Some states have reduced the number of recommended people allowed at a gathering from 250 to 50 and in some states the recommendation is now as low as 10.

Swonger said, “We are working with states to explore creative 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, in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, bars and restaurants will be provided a waiver for carry-out alcohol.”

“We are also reaching out to state regulators to seek relief on any manual filings or payments that may be difficult as organizations shift to working remotely.”

New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
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New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced a regional approach to combating the novel coronavirus – or COVID-19 – throughout the tri-state area.

These uniform standards will limit crowd capacity for social and recreational gatherings to 50 people. This follows updated guidance that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued recommending the cancellation or postponement of in-person events consisting of 50 people or more.

They also announced restaurants and bars will close for on premise service and move to take-out and delivery services only. These establishments will be provided a waiver for carry-out alcohol. In addition, they said they will temporarily close movie theaters, gyms and casinos.

*The annual APA survey asked respondents how difficult it would be to meet their current financial obligations if their paychecks were delayed for a week. Approximately 28,893 respondents, 74 percent, said they would find it either somewhat or very difficult to meet their financial obligations.

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