Around Thanksgiving, I started a basement renovation in my 1950’s house. Contract signed, color scheme chosen, and mood board assembled, I envisioned an HGTV style “reveal” with lots of before and after pictures documenting the project. Then, after the “demo” phase ended, the contractor broke some bad news: one basement wall had cracks and other structural issues that necessitated several thousands of dollars of support beams and tuckpointing. While not glamorous or fun, this foundation work was essential to complete before any paint is applied or perfect pillows tossed onto a new sofa. I paid and the project has moved forward.
Fortunately for Ohio, the 12,357 men and women directly employed in the non-alcoholic beverage industry provide a strong foundation for our state’s economy—no tuckpointing needed. Our member companies contribute $12 billion in direct economic impact in the Buckeye state. Together, the makers of your favorite beverages take care of their customers, their team members and their communities.
Customer support is the backbone of how our members do business. A strong beverage industry supports several other business sectors and their employees throughout Ohio. More than 58,000 workers in restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, movie theaters and more depend, in part, on beverage sales for their livelihoods. I once asked a member about their busiest time of the year, assuming he would say Memorial Day or Christmas. Years ago, this would have been correct, but he advised that the industry now has little downtime. More retail channels to sell products, earlier start times for restocking and online sales required 24/7 support.
Member support extends beyond their direct customers to their employees. The true foundation of our business is comprised of the 12,357 Ohioans who make and distribute our products. From blending ingredients to your favorite soft drink to maintaining a warehouse, taking customer orders, driving products to market and placing them into commerce, everyone has an important role to play in getting beverages from a recipe to a cold serving into consumers hands. This industry pays out $1 billion annually in wages and benefits, generating $899.4 million in state taxes and $1.5 billion in federal taxes. These excellent jobs are more than wages—they are a pathway to economic stability for thousands of Ohio families. Showing appreciation is what our members do best. Whether they are grilling burgers at an employee appreciation day, providing onsite health and chaplain services or investing in next gen leadership work, managers want their teammates to know how vital they are to the industry’s success.
Finally, the foundation of caring for our communities is stronger than ever in Ohio. Members contribute over $103.7 million annually to charitable causes across the state. Look at any hometown event and you will see support. Peek inside most foodbanks and you will find products and people from the beverage industry working to feed people in need. Enjoy a refurbished basketball court and you will see community pride and support from our members. From every corner of Ohio and all places in between, our members are lending a hand and contributing toward a strong foundation in the communities where they live, work and raise their own families.
So, while I will be happy when my own project is completed, I am grateful every day for the chance to support this amazing industry and the strong foundation they have built in Ohio.