From the grounding of travel, to slowdowns in our supply chains, to the systemic retail shutdowns across the country – our industry is one of the hardest-hit. And even though many of you are having revenue challenges, we know that you still have expenses to pay, from personnel and product to rent and utilities.
The future of our industry is at stake. We want you to know that the Travel Goods Association is fighting for you, and fighting for our industry, every day.
Updated: September 21, 2020
A Smart Pivot Around COVID-19
The world is rallying around the COVID-19 response, and so is the travel goods industry. Companies springing into action to produce personal protective equipment and other items to combat COVID-19 include Enviro-Point, Kalencom, KeySmart, Ms. Jesetter, NeetPac, Pacsafe, SpectraSpray, YaY Novelty. Read about these companies, and their products, on TGA’s resource list. And check out our list of travel goods retailers whose protective products are just a click away. Please let us know about your COVID-19 efforts! Contact Cathy Trecartin, email@example.com, 877-842-1938, x-702.
Updated: June 17, 2020
TGA COV-19 Response
- TGA Urges Congress to Expand Employee Retention Tax Credit
TGA joined over 100 other organizations in urging Congress to approve the bipartisan JOBS Credit Act (H.R. 6776). The legislation would expand the employee retention tax credit (ERTC) by expanding the credit percentage from 50% to 80% of qualified wages; increasing the per-employee limitation from $10,000 for all calendar quarters to $15,000 per calendar quarter (and an aggregate of $45,000 for all calendar quarters); and creating a phased-in credit, which will allow employers with more than a 20% decline in gross receipts to be eligible for a portion of the credit.
- TGA Joins Hundreds of Other Business Groups in Calling for Expanded Duty Deferral
On April 28, TGA joined hundreds of other business groups in calling on President Trump to expand duty deferral to make it useful to the industry and help save American jobs.
- TGA Urges Congress to Act to Help the Industry in Next Stimulus Package
Yesterday, April 29, TGA sent a letter to Congress urging them to help the industry by including a variety of measures in the next stimulus package, including providing duty deferral, improving the Paycheck Protection Program and the Employee Retention Credit, and fixing business interruption insurance. Congress is expected to consider and approve another big stimulus package in May.
- TGA Victory – Partial Duty Deferral
- Industry Letter to Trump/Congress on Duty Deferral/Tariff Exclusions – We Need CEO Signatures/Information
- Letter from TGA President Michele Marini Pittenger
- TGA is working to ensure that COVID-19 legislation includes a stimulus package and tariff relief to help retailers and manufacturers survive this crisis. We have signed on to the following industry letters to the administration:
- Specifically, TGA is lobbying for:
- Tariff relief – immediate elimination of all punitive tariffs on U.S. travel goods imports from China and immediate refund of all punitive tariffs paid to date
- Greater access to capital – to inject much needed liquidity into the system
- Tax credits to keep workers on payrolls
- Financial assistance to small businesses
- Duty deferral
TGA members can contact TGA Director of Government Relations Nate Herman to learn how to contact Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to defer your duty payments, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-853-9351.
Updated: October 14, 2020
- Industry Guidance for Promoting the Health and Safety of All Travelers from U.S. Travel Association
Dr. Mike Parkinson outlined the details of this guidance, which was created with input from medical authorities as well as every segment of the travel industry, and Destination Analysts President & CEO Erin Francis-Cummings highlighted some of her recent data on traveler sentiment – including what travelers need from us to feel safe while traveling again. You can read the full industry guidance here.
- Helpful Websites for COVID-19 Updates
- Key Info on the Stimulus Package – Text, Summary, Webinar Recording
On March 27, President Trump signed the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act into law. On March 31, TGA held a webinar (recording/slide deck) on the stimulus bill to provide members with more details and information on how to access the stimulus package. Please see a detailed summary of the stimulus bill here.
- SBA Disaster Loans
The U.S. Small Business Administration is processing thousands of Disaster Loan Applications. You can apply for up to $2 million for economic injury because COVID-19 has disrupted your business: https://bit.ly/TGASBA. If you already have an SBA disaster relief loan you can still apply, and your existing loan payments will be automatically deferred until the end of the year. Because of the high volume of loan applications, SBA recommends applying online.
- Facebook Small Business Grants Program
Facebook has pledged $100 million in cash grants and ad credits, but has not yet published the application process. Sign up for updates here: https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/grants
Updated: October 14, 2020
Additional Resources and Best Practices
- Tranportation Security Adminstration (TSA) Cornavirus (COVID-19) Information website
- Master List Of All Major International Airline Coronavirus Change And Cancellation Policies (Forbes)
- The Case for Responsible Travel: Lessons from COVID-19 for Tourism in a Changing Climate
A World Tourism Day Webinar from Center for Responsible Travel
September 29, 2020 @ 11:00 AM–12:30 PM ET
- The U.S. Travel Association has updated their #TravelConfidently Toolkit with new summer graphics, industry best practices for health and safety, and social media guidelines.
- NRF’s Operation Open Doors’ Coronavirus Retail Restrictions by State
A state-by-state visualization of laws and regulations provides specific guidance by state and jurisdiction. A new update developed in partnership with PwC Advisory Services and Salesforce includes enhanced data categories and visualizations.
- 2020 Education Sessions from The Inspired Home Show
Take in recorded sessions from The Inspired Home Show 2020 including Keynotes, Innovation Theater, Smart Talks and more!
- 14 Email Marketing Tactics to Test Now from Sailthru
- Client Alert: Key Changes To The Paycheck Protection Program from Whiteford, Taylor, Preston, LLP
The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (HR 7010) (the “Flexibility Act”), signed into law on June 4, 2020 (the “Effective Date”), provides relief to small businesses seeking relief under the Paycheck Protection Program (the “PPP”), including, significantly, an extended period to use PPP loan proceeds and a reduction in the amount of funds that are required to be used towards payroll costs from 75% to 60%. You can read more details here: https://www.wtplaw.com/news-events/client-alert-key-changes-to-the-paycheck-protection-program
- Best Practices for Communicating Health and Safety Guidance at Businesses
This Assessing Recovery Series from U.S. Travel Association will dive into another angle of the reopening experience, focusing on insights and lessons learned from hotels, attractions and airports.
• Ivar Satero, airport director at San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
• Jason Freeman, vice president of security, safety, health & environmental at Six Flags Inc.
• Tom O’Shea, managing director for Sunriver Resort, Oregon
- Relief for DMOs: Understanding Economic Development Administration (EDA) Grants
Join U.S. Travel and Destinations International for a webinar featuring three EDA representatives who will share more information about EDA grants, including who qualifies, how to apply, what kinds of projects will be funded and more. There will be time for Q&A at the end of the presentation.
- NRF’s Operation Open Doors: A Comprehensive Roadmap for Reopening
It’s a confusing time in countless ways, and TGA’s members – and citizens around the country and the globe – are faced with contradictory guidance from different channels. We found NRF’s Operation Open Doors framework to be comprehensive and inclusive of members nationwide. Its online resource center includes an interactive map of coronavirus rules, regulations and other information from all 50 states (and breaks down up-to-date information from city and county levels, including the status of stay-at-home orders), a federal agency and state tracker which offers information on loan forbearance and lease enforcement, and a 10-page checklist which addresses issues associated with returning to the workplace. Read the article here and please share your feedback with TGA. We want to learn what’s helpful and what decisions you’re making through COVID-19. Learn more.
- NRF Launches Leadership Series for Perspective on Retail Today
The NRF Retail Leadership Series is a new virtual program featuring candid conversations between NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay and CEOs from retail brands and leaders across the economy. These conversations will offer insights into leading through times of crisis, the state of retail and the way forward for the industry.
- Coronavirus Relief Resources for U.S. Business Owners
This document, prepared by UBS Financial Services, contains a brief summary of the various coronavirus relief programs under the CARES Act. Key details are included for the EID Program, the PPP Program and the available tax credits and deferrals, as well as a list of other relief programs
- NRF Coronavirus Resources for Retailers page
Follow this NRF page for retail-specific updates including state-by-state resources and daily snapshots of stimulus legislation
- Coronavirus Travel Restrictions: The Ultimate List
New website compiles the most recent international travel restrictions https://www.coronavirustravel.com/ to help your clients make informed decisions. (Produced by the owner of travel sites GoLastMinute, BeachDeals, and Bamgo)
Updated: June 1, 2020
Retailers Thinking Outside the Box
- ASD’s Complimentary Guide to Reopening Your Retail Store
Because there are so many requirements that retail businesses have to follow, ASD created a free guide on how to successfully open your stores again with links to state and county level requirements, free business help, downloadable forms, and checklists for retailers of all sizes. Download your complimentary copy.
- Re-Imagining the Digital Shopping Experience with Immersive 3D and AR Product Media
As COVID-19 accelerates the shift to online buying, retail brands are looking to their digital channels to work harder than ever. In the “new normal,” engaging product imagery and visual configuration tools will replicate the store/showroom experience online. Adobe is arming small and medium businesses with processes to create photorealistic product images and augmented reality experiences at a fraction of the cost of traditional product photography.
- Adaptability: A Crucial Element for COVID-19 Survival
Utah-based outdoor gear brand Cotopaxi’s CEO used the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to shift gears, consult his team for ideas, and channel creativity (versus fear). He quickly combined resources with a connection from many years back, and have found their sweet spot via an unexpected collaboration. Read the story in Forbes for some inspiring, positive industry news.
- StandUp 4 Retail Webinar Series
- 10 Action Steps to Rebuilding Your Retail Business
- COVID-19 Communications: How to Keep Your Customers Engaged Sponsored by Lightspeed
- How to Grow Your Amazon Business for Massive Success in a Post-Pandemic World
- How to Increase Your Web Store Traffic During COVID-19
- Safeguard Your Amazon Business: Stop People from Stealing Your Sales (Brand Protection)
- Opening Your Virtual Doors: How to Start Selling Online During COVID-19
- Retail Reset: Best Practices for Curb-Side Pick Ups, Local Deliveries, Shipping Packages and More Amidst COVID-19
- How Brick & Mortar Stores Can Quickly Implement Other Selling Strategies Into Their Operations Amidst COVID-19
- 5 Virtual Strategies Brick & Mortar Stores Can (Easily) Implement NOW Despite Doors Being Closed
- 5 Realities Retailers Can Do NOW to Help Protect Their Businesses LATER
- Shopping by appointment only: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-dc-book-store-unique-way-stay-open-mass-closures/
- Sending handwritten cards: https://www.instagram.com/p/B95GDDEJJWZ/
- Call your representative, market gift cards for when this is all over: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-restaurant-industry-waitstaff-help/
- Travel advisors send out handwritten condolence cards to clients whose vacation plans have been put on hold: https://www.travelagewest.com/Industry-Insight/Business-Features/In-the-Age-of-COVID-19-Clients-Are-Taking-Care-of-Their-Travel-Advisors-Too
Updated: May 22, 2020
COVID-19 Travel Industry Corporate Citizenship
- Travelon Donates Stock of Face Masks and Protective Gear to First Responders
- Dr. Segal’s Compression Socks Support Frontline Workers
- YaY Novelty Builds a Better Facemask
“I feel like everything that happened in my life was for me to learn and use right now”
- United By Blue is launching a new initiative: I Stand With Small. The 2018 TGA Community Service Award winners are known for their big-picture perspective, and they’re urging their followers to think big by going small: to consider how powerful their dollars are, and to support mission-driven businesses. They’ve created a coalition of B-Corps and responsible manufacturers, all offering substantial discounts with the checkout code STANDWITHSMALL. Their goal? To ensure that small, environmentally conscious brands survive the temporary closure of their retailers, and the cancellation of pre-season orders. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/TGAsmall
- Which of your favorite brands are using their manufacturing capacity and stock to respond to the global pandemic? Gear fanatics Carryology have published an inspiring list of manufacturers who are sewing PPE or donating bags and product to health care professionals. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/TGAcarry
- From Repairing Suitcases to Saving Lives
New Jersey Travel Goods Retailer Puts His Sewing Machine to Good Use
- Leather Shop Jumps into Face Shield Production
Clayton & Crume commits to make 500,000+ face shields to protect healthcare workers
- Victorlite Luggage packed 500 pieces of luggage with medical supplies including masks, wipes, glasses, gloves, thermometers, disinfectant and liquid soap. The luggage was donated to doctors and nurses fighting COVID-19 in China.
- The American Hotel and Lodging Association announced a new initiative called Hotels for Hope, which connects hotel properties with members of the health community who are struggling to find housing and support during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to AHLA, the initiative has already identified over 6,500 properties located near healthcare facilities that are ready to support health professionals and first responders who may need temporary housing. AHLA says hotels interested in joining the initiative can volunteer by filling out an online form.