SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois beer industry ranks fifth in the nation in terms of its economic contribution to the state’s economy, that’s according to a report released by The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA). The first of its kind study shows that distributor operations in Illinois provide 15,196 jobs totaling more than $1 billion in wages and salaries.
This is the first comprehensive report totaling detailed contributions made by the 152-Illinois beer distributing establishments and include direct operations, capital investment and community involvement initiatives. Nationally the industry provides more than 323-thousand jobs totaling more than $19.8 billion in wages.
The study further investigates the added economic benefits to Illinois because of efficiencies in the beer distribution system. It is estimated that more than 25.6 million teacher hours or nearly 25-thousand miles of highway maintenance are supported because of wholesale beer contributions.
“We play a vital role in supporting the Illinois economy,” according to Bill Olson, president of the Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois (ABDI). “Our members represent generations of family owned, independent businesses that are invested in their communities to keeping local economies thriving, make a wide variety of products available to consumers and offer good paying jobs.”
Beer distributors play a significant role in making sure that only fresh and authentic products make it to market and provide a means for new brands to enter the market. They serve as the checks and balance for the safe and timely delivery from a wide variety of manufacturers to retail, restaurants and bars. The three-tier regulatory system also includes the important task of calculating and collecting tax revenue due to the state. According to the study, beer distributor operations generate close to $540-million in local, state and federal taxes. That does not include the additional $499 million in excise and consumption taxes for beer sold in Illinois.
The industry has a demonstrated commitment to promoting responsible drinking programs. Beer distributors offer server training to make sure alcohol is only sold to adults of legal drinking age and spearheads several education initiatives targeted at parents, teachers and school aged children warning them of the dangers and consequences of underage drinking.
“This report does a great job of quantifying our dedication and value to Illinois and the communities we serve,” says Jim Rinella, ABDI Chair and owner of Rinella Company in Quincy. “Our distributors have a personal connection with our customers, so we are able to offer customized service that keeps the economy thriving and offers a wide variety of safe products to consumers.”