Jack Daniel’s makes $1 million commitment to Metro government

Jack Daniel’s officials presented Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis with a $1 million dollar check on Tuesday. Pictured (from left to right) are Director of the Jack Daniel Homeplace Erik Brown, Mayor Lewis, Marsha Manley Hale, and General Manager Larry Combs. (Lynchburg Times Photo)

LYNCHBURG, Tenn.Our commitment to Lynchburg will never waiver. Those were the words of Jack Daniel’s General Manager Larry Combs as he presented a check for $1 million dollars to Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis on Tuesday. The check presentation took place during a State of Tourism Breakfast held at the Jack Daniel’s Employee Resource Center.

The commitment represents a five-year, $1 million contribution to the Lynchburg/Moore County Government. The guaranteed funds replace donations the distillery has made to local government from a percentage of the sale of commemorative bottles at the White Rabbit Bottle Shop at the Visitor Center. The distillery has made the donation for the last 28 years following passage of legislation allowing for the sale of commemorative bottles at distilleries around the state.

“Jack Daniel’s wouldn’t be what it is without Lynchburg, and our commitment to the town and Moore County will never waiver,” said Larry Combs, SVP and General Manager of the Jack Daniel Distillery. “We are fortunate to call this area home and will always try to do more than our part to support our community, its people, and our way of life.”

The $1 million commitment is in addition to the annual taxes the distillery pays, representing more than half of all tax receipts collected in Moore County, and the charitable annual giving for organizations, non-profits, and governmental entities in the area.

Combs stressed that the $1 million commitment to Metro Government would be the minimum amount over the next five years and could increase depending on increased visitor count and bottle sales.

“We wanted to give our local leaders certainty on what to expect as they go into budget planning for the next several years and knowing these dollars will be there to help fund critical infrastructure and needs in our community,” he added.

With the American Whiskey category booming across the world, Jack Daniel’s continues to expand production to meet the world’s thirst for its Tennessee Whiskey. With additional barrel house construction, increased distillery capacity and hiring new workers, Combs said he expects upwards of 70 jobs to be filled in the coming months.

On the visitor front, Erik Brown, Director of the Jack Daniel Homeplace, said the distillery is on pace to host 300,000 visitors from around the world this year, up from pre-pandemic levels.

“Working together, we’ve made it through the pandemic and continued to welcome our friends with open arms, and we only see those numbers of visitors increasing,” Brown said. “And with our friends’ visits, we are adding to our local tax base with their shopping and eating on the Square, local merchants’ sales, overnight stays, and bottle sales. In my opinion, there’s no better place to experience the warm hospitality and friendship that we deliver on a daily basis.” •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only locally-owned newspaper in Lynchburg and also the only woman-owned newspaper in Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}