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Schumer Visits Staten Island’s Flagship Brewery & Pushes Legislation That Will Allow Small Breweries to Fully Tap Their Business Potential; Staten Island’s Flagship Brewery Just Opened Last Year & Critical Tax Cuts Could Help Grow Business

Beer Industry Supports Nearly 60,000 Jobs in NY & Pulls in Tourism Dollars – Schumer’s Legislation Will Cut Taxes on Small Brewing Operations throughout New York, Like Staten Island’s Flagship Brewing Company, So They Can Buy More Equipment, Boost Marketing Efforts & Pour More Jobs into Communities


Schumer: Small BREW Act Would Help Staten Island’s Flagship Brewery Save Thousands of Dollars, & Help With the Revitalization of Staten Island Community


Today at Flagship Brewing Company on Staten Island, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced his push for legislation that will cut the excise tax on small breweries in half, helping small brewers throughout New York reinvest in their business, hire new employees, and revitalize downtown communities. Flagship Brewery is a brand new business on Staten Island and has been open only seven months. Currently, brewers like the Flagship Brewery, pay a $7 excise tax for the first 60,000 barrels they brew per year. Under the Small BREW (Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce) Act, that rate is slashed to $3.50 per barrel, resulting in potential savings of $210,000 per year for that brewery. The bill also cuts the tax by $2 on the next 1,940,000 barrels produced, resulting in potential savings of $3,880,000 each year.

Schumer unveiled details of how his legislation could benefit the growing number of craft breweries in New York. For example, Flagship Brewery has produced 1,200 barrels since opening seven months ago, and its owner hopes to boost that number to 3,600 barrels by the end of its first year. Flagship Brewery has three full time employees and hopes to grow the number of employees next year. Under the Small BREW Act, based on current production (over seven months), the brewery would save approximately $4,200 per year in excise taxes, which it could put straight back into the company in the form of new hires or expanded business.


“Small breweries, like Staten Island’s Flagship Brewing Company, not only brew great beer, they also pour jobs into communities across the country,” said Senator Schumer. “Craft breweries are the crown jewels of so many of our communities, and often help revitalize downtowns across the country. By cutting taxes for these small breweries, we can help put more money back into their businesses and brew further economic development and growth.”


Schumer continued, “This legislation will help Flagship Brewery save thousands of dollars and in turn, help with the revitalization of this Staten Island community that’s currently undergoing a rapid transformation.”


" As owners of a microbrewery here in New York, it is truly fantastic to hear that our elected officials are trying to help ease the tax burden that goes along with running our type of business. The truth is, we love what we do and appreciate that Craft Brewers growing relevance and contributions to their local communities are realized and on the minds of the people who can help, like Senator Schumer. Cheers to the Small Brew Act!” said James Sykes, Executive Vice President and co-owner of Flagship Brewery.


“The Small BREW Act is good news for Flagship Brewery, Staten Island’s first craft brewery, which is setting the tone for what is to come on the Island’s burgeoning North Shore. Lowering taxes and putting money back into the hands of entrepreneurs to help them grow and flourish is exactly what Government needs to do. The Staten Island Chamber of Commerce commends Senator Schumer for recognizing the need to cut costs to help business succeed,” said Linda Baran, President & CEO of Staten Island Chamber of Commerce.


Schumer was joined by John Gordon, James Sykes, Matthew McGinley and Patrick Morse of the Flagship Brewery and local business leaders including: Linda Baran, President & CEO of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce; AnnaMarie Gentile, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce Board; Scott Van Camp of Staten Island’s Makerspace; and Gary Angiuli of Angiuli & Gentile, LLP, Attorneys at Law.


Senator Schumer joined Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and colleagues on both sides of the aisle in support of the Small BREW Act, which would make any brewery that brews fewer than 6 million barrels of beer per year eligible for the tax cut that will allow brewers to reinvest in workers, new equipment and new space as they expand their business. This tax cut would save small brewing companies over $17 million nationwide this year.


The approximately 2,400 small and independent breweries across the country combine to generate more than $3 billion in wages and benefits, and pay more than $2.3 billion in taxes annually. In New York, the beer industry directly supports approximately 8,000 jobs through brewing and distribution, and nearly 60,000 jobs overall when retail sales are factored in. These jobs paid $2.1 billion in wages in 2010, and accounted for $5.3 billion in economic activity. A Harvard study of the proposal predicts that passage of the proposal would increase economic activity in the small brewery sector by $153 million in the first year and almost $865 million over the first five years. Every dollar saved by cutting the excise tax would result in nearly $11 dollars in economic activity, providing an immediate and substantial boost to the economy. According to the study, the proposal would generate over 5,200 new jobs in the first year, and an additional 400 jobs going forward annually.


Schumer explained that, under the legislation, small breweries can expect to save $3.50 in taxes on each barrel of production. He explained that as breweries increase production, so too does the amount they’ll save in excise taxes. Specifically, at current production (1,200 barrels), Flagship Brewery pays approximately $8,400 in excise taxes. Under Schumer’s legislation, Flagship Brewery would save $4,200 in excise taxes. Flagship Brewery hopes to produce 3,600 barrels annually and under the Small BREW Act, would save $12,600 per year in excise taxes.

Schumer pointed to the revitalization of Staten Island’s North Shore community. Schumer explained that communities like Stapleton, St. George, Tompkinsville and Clifton are fast-growing and attracting more young people and visitors. According to NYCEDC, more than 4,000 people work in Downtown Staten Island and 70,000 commuters pass through the St. George Ferry Terminal each day. Schumer explained that his legislation, the Small BREW Act, could help Flagship Brewery further grow its business, attract more visitors and help with the transformation of this growing area. Schumer went on to say that the North Shore of Staten Island has a rich history of brewing beer, dating back to the late 1800’s. During this time period, over 250 people on Staten Island were employed by the brewing industry and brewers like Bechtel’s and Atlantic Brewery. With the success of Flagship Brewery, Schumer said this legislation could help revive this history and add more brewery jobs on Staten Island.