Local breweries fear forced closures in the coming months

South Carolina News

CHALESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – On Tuesday, the South Carolina Brewers Guild released concerning data from a member survey. Production has been significantly scaled back due to the COVID-19 pandemic; 60% of respondents said that production has slowed, and 35% have ceased production altogether. 70% have had to layoff or furlough employees.

The survey also revealed that the average decline in sales for breweries is 70%. Almost half of the breweries reported declines of over 80%.

80% of the 92 breweries/brewpubs in the state say that if current conditions persist, they will not be able to financially survive the next three months. 15% say that they fear they will be forced to close in the next one to four weeks.

As a valuable industry within the state economy- supplying “roughly 5,000 jobs” and making “an economic impact of $796 million” last year- the Guild is seeking relief from the SC Department of Revenue (SCDOR).

To sustain business, the Guild is asking SCDOR to allow for home delivery and direct shipment of products. Around 26 states have already approved such measures, which aim to “balance the needs of commerce with the promotion of public health and social distancing needs.”

The Guild’s Executive Director, Brooke Bristow, explained:

“Allowing these practices would ease the blow on commerce while promoting proper social distancing, self-isolation, and quarantine protocols by providing one more way to keep people at home with their families, while allowing the hospitality industry to better take care of theirs.”

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