Hot News
APRIL 2021
Have you Heard the News?
HPBExpo is going virtual
We heard your concerns about traveling and meeting in-person, but you also told us that you need to see the newest products and trends, so we are making it easy and safe for everyone – no matter where you reside

Members: here is your chance to connect with your peers from the safety of your home or office. And it is free!

Join Us for Three Days of:

  • Interactive product demonstrations – see for yourself how these products work
  • Access to the industry’s latest innovation in hearth and barbecue technology and patio-heating equipment in the virtual exhibit hall and New Product Showcase
  • Networking with top suppliers and retailers worldwide through video and chat — learn what’s working and how others have adapted over the past year
  • More than 30 expert-led education sessions that will give you a competitive edge — and National Fireplace Institute® (NFI) Certification
  • Business strategies you can use right away to increase sales, brand loyalty, and emotional engagement with renowned keynote speaker Bridget Brennan
  • Cutting-edge industry knowledge and the news of the latest government affairs issues impacting the industry
  • Games/Product Raffles
  • And so much more!

The platform for HPBExpo Connect will stay live for 30 days after the “close” of the virtual show. FREE for HPBA members and $75 for non-members.
PPP Extended Through May 2021
At the end of March, President Biden signed into law an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), allowing applications to be accepted through May 31, 2021. Under the extension, businesses affected by COVID-19 can apply for forgivable loans from the Small Business Administration.

The popular program has approved more than $700 billion in loans to millions of small businesses; nearly $50 billion more is still authorized under the current program. Read more on the PPP directly from SBA here and visit HPBA’s COVID-19 page for more business relief information.
Government Affairs
Industry Leaders to Virtually Meet with Members of Congress and Staff April 6-8
Members of HPBA’s Board of Directors, North American Government Affairs Committee, and graduates of HPBA’s Tom Pugh Government Affairs Academy will meet with members of Congress and their staff on April 6-8 to discuss a range of issues. A major focus of the meetings will be to promote the soon-to-be-reintroduced BTU Act. The BTU Act would extend the current Sec. 25(D) tax credit through 2028 (it is currently set to expire at the end of 2023) and would increase the credit to 30% of the purchase and installation costs. Members will also discuss changeout programs, the impact of electrification policies on natural gas and propane hearth and barbecue products, and provide lawmakers with context on how the work they do affects their constituents. With over 80 virtual meetings scheduled over three days, we are proud of our members for participating and hope to see bolstered support for our legislative priorities.
Wood and Pellet Heater Tax Credit Clarification
We understand that there may be a misunderstanding about how the new wood and pellet heater tax credit of 26% applies to federal tax returns of your customers. Some taxpayers may see an increase to their tax refund amount. Others with low tax liabilities might not be able to claim some (or any) of the tax credit if their federal tax obligation is low. If customers ask you questions about how the tax credit applies to their tax return, ALWAYS refer them to a tax professional. Everyone’s tax situation is different and what is true for one person might not hold for another. For additional discussion on tax credits in general and how they work, see this article from eFile.

All HPBA members have access to our exclusive members-only tax credit webinar held in mid-March. To view a recording of the webinar, slides, and questions answered during and after the session, click here (member login required). Read more about the tax credit on HPBA’s website. Please contact Rachel Feinstein if you have any questions.
HPBA Participates in ASHRAE Appeal Hearing
In March, HPBA participated in an ASHRAE appeal hearing along with representatives from the Vent-Free Alliance, Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, and the chair of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) committee that covers vent-free appliances (ANSI sets procedural rules that standards-writing organizations must follow). The hearings addressed procedural violations and technical shortcomings of the publication of Addendum ‘a’ to the ASHRAE 62.2 standard, Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings. Addendum ‘a’ would restrict vent-free appliances to a level that would effectively ban them in ASHRAE-compliant homes.

In 2019, the ASHRAE Board of Directors rejected Addendum ‘a’ for publication. After it was reintroduced at the committee level without changes in 2020, however, the Board subsequently approved the addendum. We and our allies claim that that approval was in violation of ASHRAE’s procedures. At the appeal hearing, we pointed to many documented procedural violations, including lack of outreach to stakeholders and unresolved commenters, and failure to support a compromise solution that had been presented. Committee leadership asserted that no procedural violations occurred. The chair of the appeal panel even commented that the circumstances around Addendum ‘a’ were unclear and odd. Results from the appeal are expected to be announced in April. For more information on ASHRAE 62.2 or the appeals process, please contact Eric Adair.
Fuel Choice Bills Advance, Enacted in Many States
HPBA and Affiliates have been very active in March supporting the passage of fuel choice bills in multiple states. Although the details vary, fuel choice bills generally eliminate the ability of individual cities to ban propane or natural gas in new homes or businesses. Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Utah have passed bills, and the governors have signed them. Bills in Georgia, Kansas, and Iowa have been passed but not yet signed by the state’s governor. Bills are pending in Texas, Ohio, Florida, and Missouri. Wyoming, Minnesota, Michigan, and New Hampshire are also considering fuel choice measures.

We are so grateful that our local members have rallied to provide testimony, often on very short notice. Some of the industry advocates to take part include Mark Humphrey and Lesley Short (Colorado), John Anghilante (Ohio), and Todd Harkrider (Texas), among others.

HPBA and Affiliates have also been taking part in discussions and testimony to oppose legislation or initiatives that would ban natural gas and propane in new homes. Legislation has been considered (and not enacted) in Washington state, passed in Massachusetts, and is currently under consideration in Nevada and Oregon. A major gas ban bill is expected in Colorado sometime before the end of their session in [month].

HPBA continues to work very closely with the national and local staff of the propane industry, developing valuable joint efforts in several states. For more information on state efforts to stop gas bans, please contact John Crouch.
HPBExpo Connect features: The Keynote Address, sponsored by Hearth & Home Technologies, is free to all registered HPBExpo Connect 2021 participants.
HPBExpo Connect 2021 Keynote
Winning Her Business: Transforming the Customer Experience in a Changing World
Bridget Brennan, Founder & CEO, Female Factor
Thursday, June 24, 2021

Women are the world’s most powerful consumers, and winning their business is crucial to success in the hearth, patio, and barbecue industries. Bridget Brennan, the world’s leading expert on the women’s growth market, will share strategies for growing your business by better understanding changes in shopper behavior.
The author of “Winning Her Business" and "Why She Buys” will inspire you with winning strategies and best practices for increasing sales, brand loyalty and emotional engagement. Stay ahead of your customers’ changing expectations and increase your competitive edge. You’ll gain ideas, best practices and “Monday Morning” strategies you can apply immediately to your business.

(Twitter: @bridgetbrennan, Instagram: @bridgetbrennninsights, Facebook: @FemaleFactorCorp )
Virtual Exhibit Booth Sales

With attendees having free access to HPBExpo Connect, don’t miss out on your opportunity to connect with them. A virtual booth is your opportunity to efficiently highlight your products, conduct demonstrations and training sessions, and showcase your company and product offerings. Don’t miss this powerful opportunity to connect, with the ability to conduct video chats and messaging with your customers, old and new.
All exhibitors can submit new product for the New Product Showcase, with a direct link back to the virtual booth.
As an added bonus, the show will continue beyond the show dates, as the virtual platform will be accessible for a month. This year we are expecting a much broader audience as the virtual platform eliminates travel restrictions and COVID concerns. Signing up for space is easy. Complete the order form or contact Anita Derouin to secure your space.
HPBExpo Connect Education Sessions
The full education program that was in place for the in-person show will now be available through HPBExpo Connect. The program is focused on the hottest topics in the industry, including safety and liability, business management, development, and troubleshooting. Review the full education schedule.
Get Noticed at the 2021 HPBExpo Connect

Looking for ways for your company to stand out from the competition? Take advantage of the highly effective sponsorship opportunities through HPBExpo Connect. These options are only available to contracted exhibitors and will raise your exposure to attendees during the show through a sponsorship. For information and options, contact Stacy Bowdring.
Follow HPBExpo on social media
Priority Booth Selections for HPBExpo 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia

Is taking place right now via phone appointments through April 19. The Priority Booth Selection period allows companies to select PRIME exhibit space with just a 20% deposit. Companies without Priority Points may participate in Priority Booth Selection after April 19 only. After April 19, booth selection will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to all companies and will require a 50% deposit. Click below for more information.
Expo Education Spotlight
Each month, we will highlight one of our education sessions scheduled for HPBExpo Connect 2021 to give you a taste of what you can learn if you attend.
Instructor: Tom Shay of Profits Plus Solutions, Inc.
Virtual or live; small business education – now more than ever!
Class: "Turning the Page: Things to Consider Before You Start the Process"
When: Wednesday, June 23rd, 1:00 pm ET

You may wake up one day and decide that you are ready to transition out of your business. If you want to maximize what you get with the lowest tax liability, you will need to invest some time and effort. There are multiple components of a successful and profitable transition. An eight-person team of experts collected information specifically for the HPBA and our industry and this will be presented during this important session. Even the newest members of this industry will benefit from thinking long-term about their investment.

Class: “Dealing With Difficult Customers”
When: Thursday, June 24th, 1:00 pm ET
Have you seen the infographic showing how many people an unhappy customer will tell about their experience? How about the infographic that shows how a customer complaint that is cordially resolved creates a customer that outspends the average customer?
How do you make a potentially difficult customer into a happy customer, leading to more sales and higher reviews? Surprisingly, it takes very little to take resolve the situation. With a bit of practice, all of your staff can be equipped to turn a difficult customer into a strong advocate for your business. Join us to learn how to make the most of these tricky situations.

Check out the entire education schedule and register to attend Expo here.
HPBA Job Board
We have made the decision to shut down the HPBA Job Board. In recent years, members have been using it less and less. With the competition from online job boards with far greater ability to reach job seekers, it makes more sense for employers to use other options to find their perfect new employee.
A Chance to Show the World the Power of Stoves
You are invited to join HPBA member businesses currently partnering with the aid organization StoveTeam International! Around the world, four million people die every year from smoke inhalation due to the lack of access to safe cooking. Join the campaign to provide innovative, woodburning cookstoves that save lives and reduce carbon emissions. Learn more at

See how your business can take part by clicking the button below.
Advertising on Hot News
On a limited basis, HPBA will start accepting ads for future issues of Hot News. If you are interested in more information, please contact Emily McGee. Hot News goes out each month to 7,000+ industry members with an open rate of approximately 25%.
The Fire Time Magazine
The April issue of The Fire Time Magazine is available right now, and you don’t want to miss any of these articles:

  • BBQ Retail Success Takes More Than Selling Grills" (by Lisa Mayer)
  • Natural Gas and Wood Burners Continue Under Attack” (by Bill Sendelback)
  • Pro Tips for Winning Outdoor Kitchens” (by Casey Harvey)
  • Don’t Do the Hokey Pokey—Get Into Outdoor Products or Get Out" (by Peter Schoenfeld)

Now, you can click right here to get this free magazine sent to you (and anyone else on your team) every month.
The Fire Time Magazine is a magazine by the industry and for the industry that produces free content every month to help hearth and outdoor living companies grow like never before.
News from the Industry:
Do you have important personnel news to share with the industry? Please send to Emily McGee for consideration for inclusion in Hot News.
Operation BBQ Relief Update
We’re all familiar with the work that OBR does immediately following a natural disaster, but OBR also stepped up last spring to start helping people during COVID-19. By partnering with local restaurants, OBR has served over 4,750,000 meals. This effort is supported by 27 restaurants in eight states, retaining nearly 300 employees. HPBA continues to do what it can to support OBR and its important work. We encourage our members to do the same! To read more about OBR's latest projects, check out their website.
HPBA has a new banking relationship with Bank of America, and our SunTrust accounts are now closed. For wiring information, please contact Robert Washington.

Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association
P.O. Box 412397
Boston, MA 02241-2397