By Mark Tanczos
It would be an understatement to say that Pennsylvania’s beer distributors faced many challenges over the past year. From state store privatization to the continued expansion of grocery stores using restaurant licenses to sell beer, Pennsylvania’s 1,200 beer distributors face an unparalleled assault on the integrity of our industry, and the viability of our small businesses.
I firmly believe we can meet and overcome these challenges, but know it will take more than just a handful of active members to do so. Only the concerted efforts of each of us, all 1,200 beer distributors, can ensure that Pennsylvania’s beer distribution industry will survive and prosper. This may seem alarmist or hyperbolic, but I assure you it is not. The very existences of our small businesses are at stake in what’s occurring right now in Harrisburg, and we must be ever vigilant and active in protecting and promoting our interests. The consequences of failing to do so are unimaginable, yet very possible.
We need to educate both our elected officials and our citizenry about the importance of our industry and what we, as small business owners, mean to Pennsylvania’s economy. Our retail distributors, wholesalers and brewers represent nearly 36,000 working Pennsylvanians with an economic impact of nearly $3 billion in our state’s economy, as well as generators of over $1 billion in tax revenues to state and local governments. These are very significant numbers by any measure.
One voice usually carries little weight, but a thousand voices can move mountains. That’s why it is more important than ever for our industry – retail distributors, wholesalers and brewers in Pennsylvania – to work together in common purpose for the protection and enhancement of our businesses. This is why increasing our membership base is vital to our future. I encourage those who are currently not members of MBDA to join at your earliest convenience, as well as those who are members to reach out to their fellow distributors and bring them into the fold. Accordingly your Association will be making the growth of our membership base a top priority in the year to come.
MBDA provide essential benefits that help to improve a distributor’s bottom line. Our innovative programs for insurance, credit and debit card processing, age verification equipment discounting, and the new electric purchasing program can help save the average distributor thousands of dollars a year in costs, more than offsetting the price of MBDA membership. This alone should provide incentive for joining the Association, as taking advantage of these exclusive programs means more money in your pocket at the end of the day.
The bottom line is we need your membership in MBDA, and you need to have MBDA out there fighting for you and your small business now more than ever.
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