The past few days have felt like a month has passed. Every day is filled with breaking news about not only the spread of Coronavirus or COVID-19, but the business closures that have been left in it’s wake.
With the mandated closure of all bars and restaurant dining rooms handed down by Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown, the brewery and hospitality industries of Portland have been severely impacted.
What does this impact look like? For starters, McMenamins, the brewery/hotel/distillery/restaurant chain announced Tuesday that they have to lay off “almost everyone.” They employ roughly 3,000 employees at 62 locations in Washington and Oregon, and to my knowledge, are only keeping open their NW 23rd Ave Bottle Shop in Portland.
The state of Oregon tallies the number of employees in bars and restaurants to be estimated at 155,000, so with most locations closed or only offering orders to-go and many laying off or furloughing most of their workers, we’re looking at potentially 100,000 out of work.
And then there are the breweries. With Oregon being a mature craft beer market, focused primarily on draft options found in a brewpub environment, the impact has been immediate. With 300 breweries in the state and roughly 120 in the tri-country metro area, there’s over 10,000 people employed by breweries in Oregon and undoubtedly a lot of people who’ve lost jobs or been furloughed.
In speaking with friends who work in the hospitality, retail, brewing, restaurant, and bar industries, most have at least been furloughed. And while many of us are hunkered down in our homes, there are ways we can keep our communities and small businesses strong, when they need it the most. For if we can do our own part to assist them during this difficult time, maybe they can begin to hire back some of their workers, or at the very least, keep their heads above water until this pandemic has subsided.
Below are a list of links detailing ways to help the industry – from signing petitions, to the latest news, to lists of breweries and restaurants providing to-go orders, 4-packs, growler/crowler fills, and even home delivery. Please take the time to stay informed and do your part to support as many local businesses as we can until we’re through this difficult time.
Change.org – Save Our Restaurants and Bars – a petition.
Brewers Association – Impact Survey Shows Extreme Challenges
Brewers Association – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact Poll
Brewers Association – President Signs H.R.6201, Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Beervana Blog – A Buying Guide to Oregon Beer During the Time of Coronavirus
Oregon Craft Beer – Beer To Go (all regions of Oregon)
The Oregonian – Here Are Oregon Breweries Offering To-Go Beer, Deliveries