The Independent Brewers Association (IBA) has written to the prime minister, treasure and other politicians to request meetings to discuss a survival package for independent breweries.
In the letter, IBA chairman Pete Philip has asked for short-term excise relief and emergency funding in addition to the other measures requested in its budget submission.
The letter, which the IBA has called on brewers to download and send to their MPs as well, highlights the help required to keep businesses open and “save 3,000 jobs”.
It puts forward three ways that the government can help independent brewers survive the crisis:
“1. Short-term Excise Relief for Survival: Excise makes up 45% of the production cost of beer and is the most targeted way that the Government can provide assistance that scales with the size of the brewery business. The IBA suggests that a six-month suspension of excise payments for breweries under 20 million litres would help small breweries that are most at risk. A costing of this initiative would be $35m or an average payment of $11,200 per FTE employed by small independent brewers. A breakdown of this costing is provided as an attachment to this letter.
“2. Business survival grant: Excise relief may not be enough to ensure survival of businesses, so brewery businesses should be able to apply for a one-time grant of up to $50,000 and interest-free loans of up to $500,000 to assist small brewers to keep their doors open and staff employed.
“3. Recovery Excise Relief for Recovery and Growth: The IBA has made budget submissions asking for small brewer’s excise rebate to be increased to $350,000 in the 2020 budget as well as other initiatives geared towards helping the industry meet its ambitious growth targets. These initiatives will help struggling breweries get back on their feet following the crisis and will be an economic stimulus to help the industry grow into the medium term.”
“I’m hopeful that with the excellent work that our Advocacy Project Group have been doing in Canberra that we will get a good hearing of our message,” Philip says.
“In the meantime, everyone should be implementing enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols while your taprooms are still open so that customers can see that we are treating this crisis seriously.
“It is vital for the business to have contingency plans in place in case multiple staff are forced into isolation.