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Government Shutdown Impacting Breweries in More Than Just Labels

As the Trump’s Government Shutdown enters its 4th week it is taking a painful toll on breweries big and small. Most of the press has been focused on the closure of the TTB affecting label approvals for packaged beers. And this is a big deal and is already have direct financial impacts on hundreds of breweries. If you can’t get TTB approval you can’t sell your packaged beer. If you can’t sell your beer you can’t get paid. If you can’t get paid you can’t pay your employees and vendors.

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TTB is responsible not just for ensuring that alcohol providers pay their taxes, but also for approving labels for new drinks. In 2018, the TTB approved more than 192,000 new packaged drinks (beer, wine, spirits etc). But since December 22, while new applications have continued to roll in, they have been unable to approve any new drinks. Zero, zilch, nada.

It gets worse, the TTB also approves both new #breweries and license expansions need licensing approval by the federal Tax and Trade Bureau

Shit gets real, fast.

The Brewers Association posted a concise overview of how the shutdown is affecting breweries beyond label approvals from the TTB.

Labels and Permits: The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is one of the agencies that is closed as a result of the government shutdown (which began on December 22, 2018). The TTB has released an Appropriations Lapse Notice. During the shutdown, the TTB will not approve #labels or process permits. Breweries should be prepared for the labeling and permit process to take longer than previously estimated. Also, be aware that when the government is funded again there could be a backlog. Breweries should plan accordingly.

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Taxes and Reports of Operations: If you are scheduled to pay federal excise taxes or to file a brewer’s report of operations during the shutdown you are still required to do so. Breweries can go to pay.gov to pay their taxes and file their reports of operations.

Loans: If your brewery is in the process of applying for a loan from a bank or credit union they are likely unable to get the information they need from the federal government to process your loan. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is also closed due to the shutdown meaning small businesses will not have access to federally assisted loans.

As if building a successful brewery wasn’t hard enough.

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