Federal government shutdown affecting local businesses

PADUCAH – The the partial government shutdown has effects that are trickling down to affect some of our local businesses.

Anyone under the U.S. Department of Treasury is impacted by the shutdown. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau — commonly called the TTB — falls under that, which affects our local breweries, distilleries and wineries.

The shutdown is backlogging production, but even once the government is back open, small businesses will still feel the affects.

Todd Blume with Paducah Beer Werks said having something local is special. “When you go someplace, people ask ‘What do you have local?'” Blume said.

That’s why he decided to start his own brewery using ingredients from western Kentucky. The government shutdown is affecting his brews.

Blume said the process to sell starts at the federal level. “We have something called the TTB, and we apply for a label, and that way — if you’re sending out kegs, cans, anything — it has to be labeled correctly, so you know what’s in it,” Blume said. “You can’t mislabel something. It’s got to have a warning.”

The label allows the brewery to distribute and sell products to restaurants and bars. With the shutdown, that labeling process can’t happen.

Usually, the process takes up to two weeks. As of right now, it’s 44 days for beer. For wine, it’s 35.

Purple Toad Winery in Paducah is introducing canned wine for the first time Thursday.

Steven Dossey with Purple Toad said the shutdown will slow down sales.

“You can’t sell them without your label,” Dossey said. “So, this will probably put us back two or three months on anything new coming out. Anytime you make new wine, you’re thinking three or four months. This is going to stop us from putting that out.”

Dossey and Blume each said they expected to be backlogged because of the shutdown — but will start selling their new creations once the government re-opens.

“The bigger we are, the more able we are to serve the community with our tax dollars,” Blume said. “We can hire more people and just have a better environment.”

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