As states and localities across the country begin to issue strict "shelter in place" requirements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, confusion around which businesses beyond the obvious (i.e., hospitals, grocery stores) are considered essential and allowed to remain open.
While these are decisions made by governors and mayors (and not Congress), PIA is working to achieve clarification on national guidance from the Department of Homeland Security that printed communications and packaging is critical during this national emergency and should remain open for business. In a big boost to that effort, the USPS, as a key delivery channel for printed products, today issued an extremely helpful statement in the form of a letter that your company can use if your business is related to mail and shipping.
"Postal and shipping workers, including those in the private sector, are also considered essential critical infrastructure workers under recent guidance issued by the Department of Homeland Security. White House and CDC guidance has also stated that such industries have a special responsibility to maintain normal work schedules. The functioning of the postal system depends critically on the mailing and printing industry."
PIA Affiliate Managers are hard at work seeking state-by-state waivers to add "printing and printing services" to the list of allowable essential businesses (Congrats to Melissa Jones for achieving exemptions in PA and NJ, Tim Freeman in New York and Gabe Hernandez in Florida; fingers crossed to the CA affiliates who are awaiting word on a waiver from their Governor.)
PIA is closely monitoring this aspect of COVID-19 response as well as Federal legislative responses on Capitol Hill and advocating every path possible to help mitigate the negative consequences on your companies and our industry. Please visit our information and resources page for updates on this and other pandemic-related fronts.
Best regards, stay safe, remain vigilant. Our industry and nation will get through this!