Statement by Distilled Spirits Council of the United States Vice President of State Government Relations Jay Hibbard
“We are grateful Governor Murphy recognizes the severe impact COVID-19 has had on the hospitality industry, which will last well beyond the end of this pandemic. By allowing cocktails to-go to continue, the governor has extended a valuable lifeline that will help these businesses recover from the economic hardships they have faced during COVID-19.
“Distillers in New Jersey have shifted production to help alleviate shortages and produce hand sanitizer. Creating a tax exemption for these distillers will enable them to keep their doors open and continue giving back to their communities. We applaud Governor Murphy for taking this step and supporting New Jersey distillers.”
At the outset of this pandemic, distilleries were forced to close their tasting rooms, but many made the decision to shift production to address the hand sanitizer shortage. In New Jersey, there are 19 distilleries making hand sanitizer for their local communities and beyond to fight COVID-19.
Currently, 32 states plus the District of Columbia are allowing restaurants and/or bars to sell cocktails to-go, bottled spirits to-go or both. Eighteen states plus the District of Columbia are allowing restaurants and/or bars to deliver distilled spirits in some form. In addition, 12 states plus the District of Columbia are now permitting curbside pickup of distilled spirits from restaurants and/or bars.
Other states, including Texas, Florida and Oklahoma, are considering extending these policies past COVID-19.