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Cheers: Beer industry fuels Illinois economy

Illinois' beer industry ranks fifth in the nation in terms of its economic contribution to the state's economy, according to a recent report by the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

The study shows that distributor operations in Illinois provide 15,196 jobs totaling more than $1 billion in wages and salaries.

Nationwide, the industry provides more than 323,000 jobs totaling more than $19.8 billion in wages.

The report notes there are 152 beer-distributing establishments in the state.

"We play a vital role in supporting the Illinois economy," said Bill Olson, president of the Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois. "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."

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 report says 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," said Jim Rinella, ABDI chairman and owner of Rinella Co. 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."

See the complete report by clicking http://www.abdi.org/public/documents/NBWA2013ReportonAmericasBeerDistributors.pdf



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