Set politics aside and provide America’s small businesses with the relief they need.
Yesterday I shared an op-ed written by a local brewery owner. Below, I share my own.
Your house is on fire. Along with the roof under which you live, your family’s treasures and keepsakes are about to go up in smoke. The 911 operator assures you that help is on the way, but the fire truck is stuck in traffic. Why? Because the person driving the fire truck doesn’t want to turn on the flashing lights and the siren.
How angry would you be at the person driving that firetruck?
Luckily, firefighters actually do care about your home and your safety. We need our politicians to start acting like firefighters. We need them to do it RIGHT NOW before there’s nothing left but ashes and memories.
In the face of the fire that is the pandemic, assistance for our local breweries and other small businesses is stuck in gridlock. This is not necessary. The essential assistance provided by an economic relief package is stalled for nothing but political reasons.
As the tires spin in the knee-deep political horse crap, the breweries we love face extinction. This should be an apolitical issue. Saving America’s small businesses is essential, regardless of your political predilections.
The bickering must stop. Congress must move forward with a new economic relief package and they must do it now. Truth is, it may be too late. In the face of all else that is going on right now, political finger-pointing and grandstanding in the Senate threaten to kill the spending bill that would avert a government shutdown. TONIGHT! Can you even believe that? Now? I mean, now?
Be a good American. Congress needs to hear from you. Tell them to keep the USA open for business and then immediately pass an economic relief package targeting our nation’s small businesses. Tell them that they must do it. Tell them to step up and put America first.
- Find and contact your representative.
- Contact Senator Maria Cantwell.
- Contact Senator Patty Murray.
- Call the capitol switchboard and ask to speak to anyone’s office (“Senator Murray’s office, please”). A staffer will take your call and log your call, your opinion, your message. It helps. It’s America. (202) 224-3121
Where Breweries Fit Into the Conversation
The pandemic has devastated all sorts of businesses. Breweries are not immune. In fact, like restaurants, they are particularly vulnerable. The local brewery’s taproom is often called “the heart of the community,” or “a community hub.” Breweries are places where people gather and socialize, share tables with strangers, and swap stories with new and old friends. In our pandemic-impacted world, such behavior is dangerous and foolish.
In other words, breweries and their taprooms are perfectly positioned to suffer because of COVID-prevention protocols, regardless of whether those safety measures are mandated by the state or mandated by common sense and medical science. (Please read that last sentence again, slowly.)
That sucks, but it is reality. It is true. By their very nature, restaurants, brewpubs, bars, and brewery taprooms are especially susceptible to the economic ravages of the pandemic. Not just because people cannot go to the local bar and spit in each other’s faces, but because a lot, a lot, a lot of people would not go do that even if the authorities allowed it.
In recent weeks I’ve shared too many stories about breweries closing, but not nearly so many as I feared. Four breweries recently announced they’re closing. Someone commented on Facebook recently, “So sad to see all these breweries closing.”
At this point, to say “all these breweries closing” might be a bit of theater. I’ve only reported on four closings, and at least one was completely unrelated to the pandemic. However, I do fear for what the near future may hold if our elected officials don’t get off their butts and do something meaningful.
As far as the politics go, you and I could get into a cute little tickle war. We could get into a slap fight, with you blaming one political party and me blaming the other. That is useless. That contributes to the problem and accomplishes nothing of value. Digging our heels in along party or ideological lines only tightens the gridlock.
I urge you to contact your elected officials in Washington D.C. and in Olympia and tell them that you want them to move forward with any and all relief measures. This time, make sure the relief goes where it is most needed—small businesses like the breweries we love.