COVID-19 and Unemployment & Alcohol Related

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

COVID-19 especially threatened restaurants and bars. These had been places where people typically gather in groups. 

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

Some restaurants, bars, and craft alcohol producers failed. Their workers were unemployed. To help businesses and their employees, some states and localities cut regulations for the time being. 

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

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

Arbitrary & Confusing

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

VA’s government monopoly liquor stores would not deliver. It was worse in PA. There, the state closed its monopoly liquor stores. So no one in the state could buy any form of spirits (liquor). 

In short, few places relaxed restrictions on retailers. Nor on craft producers. This hurt businesses, their employees, and their families.

Resources: COVID-19 and Unemployment

State Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Dir.

Alcohol Taxes: Fed & State.

How Much Does Alcohol Cost Society?

Alcohol Drinking in the US. Patterns and Trends.