MBDA – YOUR INDUSTRY’S VOICE
By Frank Pistella
To call 2020 a difficult year would be the understatement of the century. We saw the impacts of COVID-19 on every sector of the economy and the devastating effects that it had on so many local businesses including the massive impact it had on our tavern servicing distributors.
For the most part, we distributors, were in a better position than most of those businesses that surround our stores. We were able to remain open while many were closed. This did not happen by happenstance. It was achieved through the strong work and relationships of many involved with and in our organization. For that I am forever grateful.
As the pandemic begins to wind down, I look back at the craziness and uncertainty that I felt this time last year. I am thankful for the hard-working men and women that we have in our association who every step of the way went out of their own ways to ensure we had most accurate information for our members who were contacting us with concerns.
With that said, what many people did not know about during COVID-19 was the attacks that we as an association were able to fend off and defeat. Under the disguise of COVID-19 we saw a major push by corporate giants in the grocery and convenience store industries to change the laws governing our industry. While using COVID-19 as the talking point these giants made numerous attempts to expand their capabilities to sell more beer. I am thankful for our team’s efforts to fend off a number of these attempts and work out deals with legislative leaders that negated their impacts.
Our marketplace over the past 10 years has seen more changes to it than the prior 50 years. The push for more changes continues as we continue to see a number of proposals introduced to erode the system that we make our livelihoods on. We at MBDA find ourselves on the defense now more than ever; protecting our businesses is our number one objective as we forge into a new legislative session. Though we briefly lament on the wins of the past we are ever diligent to keep our sights focused on our mission, protecting and promoting beer distributors of all shapes and sizes in the Commonwealth.
As I close, I would like to thank our entire team at MBDA for the hard work they have done on our behalf. From securing new “wine-based” products to handling individual issues for beer distributors we are blessed to have a dedicated team fighting for us on a daily basis. Their commitments do not go unnoticed. Like many years prior I am optimistic to what 2021 and beyond will bring for us in the beer industry and I am thankful for the faith you all have placed in me as your President. And like all of you reading this I cannot wait to be able to reunite with all of you in the coming months as the restrictions in place begin to be lifted.