44% of Oregonians working in the hospitality and leisure sector have lost their jobs

PORTLAND, Ore. — On Sept. 23, the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis released its 2020 Economic and Revenue Forecast, which showed the hospitality sector has been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report states demand and revenue for Oregon’s restaurants and bars are down 56% and the leisure and hospitality sector will have lost 53,000 jobs in 2020 — a 44% decrease — far more than any other sector.

Oregon Wine Council Board Co-Chair, Elin Miller, Oregon Brewers Guild Executive Director, Christina LaRue, Oregon Beer and Wine Distributors Association President, Bob Liner, Oregon Winegrowers Association President, Alex Sokol, and Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association President and CEO, Jason Brandt, released the following joint statement:

“Closures due to COVID-19 are having a devastating impact on Oregon’s breweries, wineries, cideries, distilleries, restaurants, bars and hospitality sector. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oregon was home to 900 wineries, 1,200 vineyards, 73 distributors, 400 breweries, 60 cideries, more than 50 distilleries and 10,000 restaurants, creating thousands of good-paying jobs and several billion dollars in wages. Many of those jobs are now at risk or have been lost. We’ve also been hit hard by the recent and ongoing wildfires plaguing our state.

“Beer, wine, cider and spirits are an essential part of Oregon’s economy and identity. In order to survive, Oregon’s breweries, wineries, cideries, restaurants and bars need the support of our elected officials. The last thing our local businesses need right now are tax increases. We remain committed to working together to help rebuild our economy and communities once the public health crisis ends.”

Despite this economic report highlighting the devastating blows experienced by beer, wine, cider, spirits, bars, restaurants and the hospitality sectors, lawmakers are considering proposals to raise alcohol taxes in the 2021 legislative session, including a plan from the Oregon Health Authority that would increase beer, wine and cider taxes by nearly 800%. More than 80% of Oregon likely voters oppose increasing these taxes according to a recent survey conducted by Patinkin Research Strategies.


About the Oregon Wine Council

Representing over fifty percent of Oregon wine grapes grown, produced and sold, the Oregon Wine Council (OWC) advocates on behalf of growers, producers and businesses supporting Oregon’s thriving wine industry across the state. The Oregon Wine Council’s mission is to protect, strengthen, unify and represent the entire Oregon wine and grape industry through strong leadership for the benefit of current and future Oregon winegrowers.

About the Oregon Brewers Guild
The Oregon Brewers Guild is Oregon’s non-profit trade association for the state’s independent breweries. The Guild, which receives no state funding, comprises 160 brewing companies, 125 associate or supplier members and nearly 
4,000 enthusiast members or S.N.O.B.s (Supporters of Native Oregon Beer). For more information, see https://oregoncraftbeer.org/.

About the Oregon Beer and Wine Distributors Association

The Oregon Beer & Wine Distributors Association (OBWDA) is a full-service, professional trade association representing beer and wine distribution companies in Oregon. Our primary mission is advocating on behalf of member companies in the legislative, regulatory, legal and public policy arenas.  The OBWDA is a valuable resource to policy makers and the public on alcohol regulation, educational programs designed to combat underage drinking and drunk driving, and the many good-paying jobs we create.

About the Oregon Winegrowers Association

The Oregon Winegrowers Association advances and protects the investments of its members. Harnessing the power of state-wide consensus, the OWA stands as a vital advocate for the health, growth and economic sustainability of Oregon’s wine grape growing and wine production community. The OWA is the premier statewide organization speaking on behalf of Oregon’s vineyards and wineries to decision-makers in Salem and Washington, D.C. to ensure the community’s continued success. The OWA is funded through voluntary membership dues and provides legislative and regulatory advocacy, legal guidance, regulatory compliance updates and cost saving solutions to its members. 

About the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association

Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) is the leading business association for the foodservice and lodging industry in Oregon. A not-for-profit trade organization, ORLA represents approximately 2,600 members, and advocates for over 10,220 foodservice locations and more than 2,000 lodging establishments in Oregon. The lodging and food and beverage industry is responsible for 183,191 jobs bringing in over $13.8 billion in annual sales for Oregon.