POWHATAN, V.A. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger yesterday learned more about how Virginia distilleries are innovating in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and she discussed the need for coordinated federal relief efforts directed toward small businesses.
During her visit at Three Crosses Distilling Company, Spanberger spoke about changes required to help Central Virginia businesses adapt and innovate in response to COVID-19 — including the need to extend a federal tax credit originally put in place in 2017 and extended until the end of this year. Spanberger is a cosponsor of the bipartisan Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, which would make permanent the federal excise tax cut on distilled spirts that was enacted in 2017. Without congressional passage of this legislation, craft distillers in Virginia would face a 400 percent tax increase in 2021, which would hinder the local industry’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
Spanberger was joined at Three Crosses Distilling by representatives from the Virginia Distillers Association, Three Crosses Distilling, Virago Spirits, Reservoir Distillery, and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
“The craft beverage industry has been a hallmark of Virginia’s economic growth over the past decade. But like every sector of our economy during this crisis, there is much uncertainty about the path ahead,” said Spanberger. “Today, I focused on reviewing how I can be helpful in Congress as we look to make the regulatory environment more friendly to businesses that are adapting their operations in response to COVID-19. When it comes to distilleries, part of this effort must include keeping reforms in place that make it easier to innovate and grow, and that’s why I’m proud to be a cosponsor of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. I’d like to thank Three Crosses Distilling for opening their doors, and I look forward to building a business climate that allows Central Virginia’s distilleries to add more jobs and produce more Virginia-made beverages.”
“We want to thank Congresswoman Spanberger for coming to meet with craft distillers to hear firsthand about the incredible challenges these small businesses are facing and the need for additional economic relief,” said Chris Swonger, President & CEO, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. “We look forward to working with the Congresswoman and her colleagues in Congress to secure passage of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, which will provide some much-needed stability and certainty to distillers as they recover and plan for the future.”
Following a tour of Three Crosses Distilling, Spanberger hosted a roundtable discussion of regulatory issues facing Central Virginia distilleries, as well as federal efforts to provide relief to Virginia small businesses and restaurants that have been deeply affected by the pandemic.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Spanberger has worked to deliver immediate relief to Central Virginia’s workers and help cut red tape for Central Virginia small businesses — including craft distilleries. In March 2020, Spanberger joined a bipartisan effort urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to cut red tape and allow producers of distilled spirits to continue manufacturing hand sanitizer with current supplies in response to shortages caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.