Submitted by lfisher on Wed, 06/10/2020 - 15:15
How Associations Can Serve Members During Times of Crisis

The United States has been experiencing an unprecedented state of turmoil since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Businesses across the country are shut down and laying off/furloughing workers.  In this time of crisis, how can an Association best serve its members?

KCMA is dedicated to providing value to our members through new services and reinforcing the benefits we already provide.  During these uncertain times it is imperative that as an Association, we remind our members that we are always here to assist them.  Not only do we want to ensure the protection of our members, but the cabinetry industry as a whole.

COVID-19 website:  As soon as the state closures began in March, KCMA created a webpage dedicated to COVID-19 updates at the Federal and state/local level.  This serves as a central area for topics our members need to know about the pandemic including: Paycheck Protection Program, CDC Guidance documents, CARES Act, states’ guide to essential businesses, and much more.  The site also features information from our own members on what they are doing within their companies to combat the spread of the virus and to protect their employees.  KCMA provides up-to-the-minute information to the site and we remind our members of this benefit through social media and bi-weekly newsletters.

Make difficult decisions:  KCMA made the difficult decision to cancel its annual Spring Leadership Conference that was set to take place in April.  KCMA was disappointed by this conclusion but the health and safety of our members is of the upmost concern to the Association.

Webinars:  In an effort to bring information to our members in a time when they are busy trying to understand new regulations and develop ways to keep their staff safe, KCMA put together three webinars in April and May open to KCMA members.  We hosted two webinars focused on COVID-19 – one to discuss methods and procedures companies are using to keep their facilities safe and another focused on the HR side of COVID-19.  In addition, we held a webinar featuring Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, who was due to speak at the KCMA Spring Conference before its cancellation.  He addressed the outlook for housing economics and what we can expect to see out of the economy in the coming months and years.

Member Advocacy:  Now more than ever it is important for Associations to advocate on behalf of our members.  For example, in most states cabinetry had been deemed an essential industry and our member companies were allowed to remain operational amid stay-at-home orders.  However, Pennsylvania and Washington State did not follow the Department of Homeland Security’s guidance on Critical Infrastructure Sectors and did not deem cabinetry as a “life sustaining” business (as defined by PA) – forcing dozens of KCMA members to shut their doors. KCMA worked closely with its members in PA at the state and local levels of government and the Governor’s office, to get this designation reversed.  As a result the cabinet industry was able to reopen in early May.

No one knows the exact right protocol right now but we do know that no matter what, it’s important to support our members in a time when every dollar counts.  We encourage our members to always lean on KCMA in difficult times such as this.