As we all grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, my thoughts and prayers are with each of you, your families, friends and colleagues. These unprecedented times are affecting all of us in countless ways, both as individuals and companies, and will profoundly change us and our world for decades to come.
Your trade association and its dedicated staff continue to serve you and the entire industry as we (like most of you) now work remotely from our homes. In addition to the normal services the International Sleep Products Association provides our members, we are focused on how we can provide useful information, tools and ideas that you can use as we navigate these uncharted waters together.
For example, we have been keeping you abreast of new laws Congress has passed in response to the pandemic. These include new emergency and family leave requirements that apply to most employers, as well as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Stimulus Act, which hopefully will benefit many companies in this industry. Among other things, the CARES Act authorizes favorable loans of up to $10 million to small businesses (that is, companies with fewer than 500 employees) that have been hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. To make sure ISPA members have up-to-date information about these loans, we help them link to guidance that the U.S. Treasury Department is updating regularly: Do You Want to Apply for New CARES Act Small Business Loans?
Despite the steep financial, operational and commercial challenges that this crisis has created, the mattress industry once again has demonstrated its generosity and creativity as individual companies mobilized their manufacturing capabilities to help deal with the COVID-19 crisis. As this issue of BedTimes went to press, an impressive list of members have donated or produced thousands of mattresses and beds needed by hospitals and others in different parts of the country. Other companies have rapidly switched to producing much-needed personal protective equipment and other supplies for those on the frontlines of the pandemic.
To publicize these successes, ISPA is sharing their news on a special page at BedTimes online. Should you be among these newsmakers? Please let us know.
As this crisis unfolds, ISPA is using different channels to connect our members with those in need. Through national, local and social media, we are emphasizing that when hospitals and health care providers need help, the mattress industry is ready to deliver. We want them to know that our members have immediate (and often local) capacity to respond rapidly, as needed.
In addition, if you have not done so as yet, please complete the ISPA COVID-19 Products Survey, indicating your availability and capacity for producing necessary medical supplies. We will communicate that information to health care providers and officials in regions with the greatest need.
We also are dedicated to keeping you informed about all relevant information as it becomes available through direct email, our weekly ISPA Insider e-newsletter, our special Member Alerts and our COVID-19 Resources page at the ISPA website. This webpage, in particular, provides information for ISPA members who can use their manufacturing resources to help meet some of the supply challenges that U.S. hospitals and others are experiencing.
If you have ideas for other ways ISPA can serve you, please let us know.
These are defining times for all of us. We are unsure what the future holds, but ISPA is here to stand with our members through this difficult period. Working together, we will make it to the other side of this ordeal as a stronger and wiser industry.
Wherever you are, may you and your loved ones remain healthy and safe during these extraordinary times.