COVID-19 and Unemployment

The coronavirus pandemic is causing serious problems around the world. Many companies and their employees are hit hard. COVID-19 and unemployment are closely connected. 

COVID 19 especially threatens restaurants and bars. These have been places where people typically gather in groups. 

COVID-19, Alcohol, and UnemploymentHowever, social distancing and sheltering in place threaten to destroy such businesses. Trying to survive, they have closed their dining rooms and taprooms. Thus they must rely on takeout and/or delivery. This also true of many craft breweries and distilleries.

Some restaurants, bars, and craft alcohol producers are already failing because of the virus. Their workers are now unemployed. To help businesses and their employees, some states and localities have cut regulations for the time being. 

Yet most places highly restrict or prohibit alcohol delivery. A few places have temporarily waived rules against selling alcohol takeout or delivering it. Yet most of still require food to be part of any takeout. Thus, cocktail bars and wine bars are excluded from takeout.

Alcohol taxes generate high revenue. For example, over half the cost of a bottle of spirits is from taxes. And about 40% of the cost of a can of beer is from taxes.

Arbitrary & Confusing

But it’s an arbitrary and confusing mess for consumers. For example, some states allow retail stores to deliver alcohol. Yet they don’t permit restaurants and bars to sell most forms of alcohol for takeout. Georgia prohibits home delivers by both retailers and producers

Virginia’s government monopoly liquor stores will not deliver. It’s worse in Pennsylvania. There, the state has closed its monopoly liquor stores. So no one in the state can buy any form of spirits (whiskey, rum, tequila, etc.) 

In short, few places have relaxed restrictions on retailers or craft producers. This hurts businesses, their employees, and their families.

It’s now time to help people survive this pandemic without losing their jobs or going bankrupt.

Resources: COVID-19 and Unemployment

State Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Directory

Alcohol Taxes: Federal & State

How Much Does Alcohol Cost Society?

Alcoholic Beverage Consumption in the U.S.: Patterns and Trends