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Public Statements

In Visit to Dogfish Head Brewery, Senator Coons Trumpets Investments in Delaware's Small Businesses

Press Release

Location: Milton, DE

Senator Coons points to small business growth as key to job creation

In a visit to the Dogfish Head Craft Brewing Co. on Monday, U.S. Senator Chris Coons reiterated his commitment to helping small businesses grow and getting more Delawareans back to work. Senator Coons underscored his support for S. 534, the Brewer's Employment and Excise Relief Act, which would help small breweries like Dogfish increase production, development and local hiring.

"Dogfish Head is one of Delaware's great small business success stories," Senator Coons said. "What Sam and his team have built here is a terrific example of what can be done when talent,creativity and hard work are combined with the tools and resources to succeed in this competitive market. Washington needs to be doing all it can to help get more Americans back to work, and that means helping small businesses like Dogfish grow. The Brewer's Employment and Excise Relief Act helps level the playing field for small breweries and makes it easier for them to grow at what is a critical stage in their development."

"We are proud of our Delaware roots here at Dogfish Head and we are proud to have Senator Chris Coons as our senator," said Dogfish president Sam Calagione. "Both he and Senator Carper understand that righting our country's financial ship begins at home with small businesses and main street jobs. Senator Coons is a co-sponsor of S 534, legislation that will allow small American family-owned breweries to add thousands of jobs in every state across the nation. He has championed the importance of small business on many fronts many times. Our Dogfish Head production facility is on Chestnut Street in Milton and our pub is on Rehoboth Ave but our company is adding dozens of Main Street jobs this year and it is great to know we have the support and commitment of Senator Coons as we do our small part to move our local economy forward."

The Brewer's Employment and Excise Relief Act redefines what it means to be a "small" brewery to one that produces up to 6 million barrels per year (up from 2 million barrels). It then recalibrates the federal excise tax on "small" brewers by:

* Reducing the rate on the first 60,000 barrels each year from $7 per barrel to $3.50 per barrel
* Reducing the rate on barrels 60,001 through 2 million from $18 per barrel to $16 per barrel

For Dogfish Head, which produces more than 125,000 barrels of its craft brews each year, this could mean savings of $340,000 a year that can be reinvested in new employees, production enhancements, and new products.

"Whenever I visit one of Delaware's innovative manufacturing businesses, like Dogfish," Senator Coons said, "I ask the same question: what can I do to help you grow? Sometimes it's an introduction to another business or elected official. Sometimes it's legislative. But the key is, we need to make sure Delaware's businesses have the tools they need to grow."

S. 534 was introduced earlier this year by Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.). It is cosponsored by Senator Coons and a bipartisan array of 34 additional senators, including -- locally -- Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.).

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