AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -
As the government shutdown continues, local breweries are feeling the affects. That’s because the Tax and Trade Bureau, the entity responsible for handling licensing of anything alcohol related, has been closed as part of the shutdown.
Anne Sloan, owner and brewer at River Watch Brewery, said, “What that means for us, is anything new we have coming out is just stuck on hold. We can’t release it until we get the approval.” Approval is important for their business right now, as they have been planning since October to release a special beer on St. Patrick’s day. If their formula approval comes back from the TTB after the holiday, the brewery could lose profits. Sloan said, “We’re kind of, again, just stuck with our hands tied in limbo waiting for the government to get their act together.”
Breweries are not the only businesses having to worry. Sloan explained, "It’s not just the 4,500 breweries in the country that are impacted. It’s any company that does alcohol manufacturing.” That means that new businesses coming to the CSRA could fail while waiting for alcohol licensing to come back. Sloan said, “It’s just increase cost, overhead and everything because you can’t get your stuff done, and that’s a problem.”
Depending on how long the shutdown continues, Sloan thinks the impacts on Augusta as a whole could be detrimental. She said, “I think it’s going to really hurt the greater Augusta area, who is right now trying to grow as much as possible.” President Trump recently said the shutdown could last months or even years, meaning we won’t know the lasting impact on our local economy until the issue is resolved.