The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), which previously adhered to taking no action which would harm small businesses, recently opposed bills in favor of direct to consumer (DtC) shipping in Texas.
In early April, NFIB’s Texas state director co-signed a letter asking members of the Texas Legislature to oppose SB 757 (which would allow DtC shipping for distillers) and HB 2945 (which would allow corporations like Amazon to establish a statewide system to distribute alcohol). The letter was also signed by representatives from the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of Texas, Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas, Texas Package Stores Association, Texas Restaurant Association, The Beer Alliance of Texas, Texas Food & Fuel Association and more.
In a letter to NFIB president Brad Close, ACSA past president and chair of ACSA’s government affairs committee Mark Shilling noted that there are more than 130 small, independent craft distillers in Texas, many of whom are NFIB members. “It is unconscionable that NFIB would take a position so completely counter to the values of its own membership,” Shilling wrote. “At a minimum, I would have expected NFIB to decline involvement at all. I will be sharing the attached letter with not just Texas distillers but with distillers across the country along with a recommendation that they reconsider their membership and financial support of NFIB.” As of this writing, NFIB has not responded.
On behalf of its members, ACSA recently unveiled a DtC campaign which includes a collection of resources for state distilling guilds and distilleries to advocate for DtC changes. It also includes a postcard to send to legislators, model guidelines necessary for elements of a model DtC bill, talking points and FAQs about DtC.