BCS Chamber: Alcoholic beverage establishments make top-three list for recently unemployed

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 5:48 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Employees of alcoholic beverage establishments have joined full-service restaurant and limited-service restaurant workers as the top three industries filing for unemployment in Brazos County.

“[It] should be no surprise because those establishments are closed right now,” said Glen Brewer, president and CEO of the Bryan-College Station Chamber of Commerce.

These statistics reflect the week ending July 18, during which there were 359 new unemployment claims in Brazos County. Since March 7, there have been a total of 13,699 locally. The numbers also reflect a three-week downward trend in new unemployment claims.

Brewer says the uncertainty grows by the day for many local businesses.

“The recovery is going to be a little bit slower than we planned,” said Brewer. “If you’re not shut down right now, I think you’re figuring out a way of staying in business. We’re worried about the people that are still closed—getting them back up before it’s too late and they’re not able to recover. But I think people are just getting used to the fact that uncertainty is the new normal,” said Brewer.

Congress is currently debating the details of another economic stimulus bill. This one would also send money directly to some Americans.

“Our local businesses would say any stimulus or relief whatsoever would be welcome,” Brewer said. “One of the things about the stimulus checks is they’re going to go to the people who need it, and people that need it are going to go ahead and spend it immediately. So it’s going to get into the economy fairly quickly and that’s just what we need right now.”

Brewer also encourages members of Congress to adjust unemployment benefits.

“We’ve been talking to people locally that said [as they] opened back up, they were having trouble getting employees back to work because they were actually making more money in their unemployment benefits than they were in their actual job,” Brewer said. “I know they’re debating different amounts to put in there. You probably need something in there because people’s unemployment benefits are not going to be enough to pay all of their bills at this time if everything is still recovering, but it probably needs to be scaled back [to] where it makes it attractive for people to get back to work so that they can get long-term help in paying their bills and putting shelter over the head and feeding their family.”

For the full conversation with Brewer, see the video player above.

Copyright 2020 KBTX. All rights reserved.

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