As our elected officials in Olympia begin to consider what kind of financial assistance and relief the state will offer businesses in the midst of, and in the wake of, the latest round of COVID-related restrictions and shutdowns, the Washington Brewers Guild wants to make sure the state’s brewing industry is not forgotten.
The Guild recently penned and delivered a letter to all of the Washington State Legislators on behalf of the brewing industry. The Guild is now asking that members of the industry contact their legislators. Breweries that are not Guild members and regular, beer-loving citizens are strongly encouraged to contact their legislators as well.
I know that contacting your legislators can seem a bit daunting, or intimidating, but it shouldn’t be. They work for us. Just be brief, to-the-point, and sincere. Few words are better than no words. To guide your thoughts, take a look at the Guild’s talking points.
Below we provide resources for contacting your legislators as well as the message the Guild sent out yesterday to its members.
How to Contact Your Legislators:
Use the Legislative District Finder to Identify your State Senator and your Two State Representatives: https://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/
A complete email roster can be found here: https://app.leg.wa.gov/MemberEmail/
The message from the Washington Brewers Guild to its members:
You all have stepped up to meet the challenges of 2020 in countless ways, adapting quickly to ever-evolving changes in consumer behaviors and government emergency mandates to keep your businesses afloat. Community is at the heart of the craft brewing industry and in the midst of all of the challenges 2020 has laid out for you, Washington craft breweries have gone above and beyond to prioritize the health and safety of employees and patrons and support communities across the state through these difficult times.
The impact of the pandemic and pandemic related regulations has taken a toll on our industry. This week’s order prohibiting indoor dining at breweries, restaurants, and bars is another blow to our industry, an industry where many were already struggling to meet the financial obligations necessary to keep businesses, dreams, and jobs alive. As suppliers and retailers, this new restriction hits WA brewers from two sides.
Yesterday, we sent a letter to every member of the Washington State Legislature, asking for immediate relief and support for our state’s small and independent breweries. You can read the letter here.
We are asking our members to join us in contacting your state legislators to let them know your small business needs their support.
You can find guild talking points and information on how to contact your legislators here. But the most important thing you can do now is share your own story and experience with your legislators. Tell them about your business, how many people you employ (before and during the Covid-19 crisis), what you’re doing to keep employees and patrons safe, and the struggles you’re facing in your business. Let them know what the latest order will do to your business. If it doesn’t change the way your taproom will operate, let them know what restaurant and bar closures mean for your wholesaling business.
Our guild will continue to work with legislators, state agency heads, and the Inslee administration to get relief and seek the solutions necessary to give breweries a fighting chance to weather the pandemic. In the coming days and weeks, we will be doing outreach to the media, as well as scheduling virtual meetings for brewery owners and employees with their legislators. In addition to emailing your legislators today, look for more opportunities to have your voice heard, coming soon.
We are here to advocate for you and support you. You’re not alone in this. The Washington brewing community is unlike any other, and we can count on our collective strength and camaraderie to get through this together.