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Breweries Feeling Effects of Government Shutdown

Now that we are entering the fourth full week of the government shutdown, people are starting to realize the impact of this decision. Many federal workers are going without pay, national parks are closed or have limited services, the FDA will not be inspecting, there will be no access to federally assisted loans, only 12% of the IRS staff are actually working, and many agencies are closed.

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One of the agencies that closed during this government shutdown is the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).   During this shutdown, the TTB will not be approving new can labels or processing any permits for new facilities and facility additions. Breweries are told to be prepared on waiting longer than expected because once the TTB reopens, there may be a backlog of requests.

According to the trade group, the Brewer’s Association, last year the government agency processed 34,166 label approvals for any new packing/beer branding. That comes out to be 93.6 label approvals a day! These approvals are necessary for any new releases, which for some breweries happens more than one time per week!

And, more importantly, if you are a brewery applying for a loan from a bank or credit union, it is unlikely that you will receive any information to get your loan processes. The Small Business Administration is closed currently which means small businesses do not have access to federally assisted loans.

Hopefully this shutdown ends soon because the impact on some industries is extremely detrimental.