Inside PPAI: PPAI Pandemic Response Offers Resources, Support For Members


In response to disruptions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, PPAI has assembled a range of resources to assist industry companies and practitioners to help them navigate these unprecedented times. The services and opportunities available are intended to provide a wide range of support, guidance and utility.

Coronavirus Information Page – This page is continuously updated and includes helpful links to the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, industry news as it relates to the virus, the latest updates on PPAI events and a recently added section for regional event updates. It can be found at www.ppai.org/coronavirus-information

Supplier Status Update Page – PPAI has created a web page for suppliers to share status updates about their business operations. This is an informative resource to learn about new safety measures, adjusted hours, temporary closures and factory cleaning methods straight from suppliers. It can be found at www.ppai.org/unique/coronavirus-related-supplier-updates.

Promo Connect – Promo Connect, PPAI’s online community, is a valuable resource to directly connect with other industry professionals and can be found at community.ppai.org/home. The Association is seeing a spike in communication activity via this platform on a variety of topics. 

Free Online Learning – PPAI is making all education courses—more than 300 offerings—via PPAI’s online education platform, onlineeducation.ppai.org, free to PPAI members. 

Human Resources Assistance – PPAI’s affinity partner, Affinity HR Group at affinityhrgroup.com/ppai, is a national HR consulting firm specializing in addressing the needs of small- to mid-sized businesses. Affinity HR Group is staffed by a group of seasoned HR professionals with years of combined experience providing sound people support to clients nationwide. Affinity HR’s team offers PPAI members exclusive member-only discounts on a wide range of HR services. They’ve also put together the COVID-19 Workplace Response Plan, available here: shop.ppai.org/files/affinity-hr-plan-for-covid-19.pdf.

Legal Assistance – PPAI’s affinity partner, Paley Rothman Attorneys at Law, offers PPAI members a free 15-minute legal consultation. This can be immediately helpful to businesses as they review contracts and employee issues. The Association has retained Paley Rothman to answer members’ legal questions, so they should include their PPAI number when setting up a consultation appointment. Call Jessica Summers at 301-968-3402 to set up a free 15-minute consultation. 

Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Recovery Assistance – In response to the coronavirus pandemic, small-business owners in all U.S. states, territories and Washington D.C. are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to help overcome a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid. For more information visit www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources.

CARES Act: What It Means To You – The recent U.S. legislation aimed at providing relief to businesses and individuals affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the CARES Act, has significant implications for the promotional products industry. It provides disaster relief for industry companies, including deferred tax payments, loans with forgiveness options and direct payments to businesses and individuals. Learn more about it here: www.ppai.org/advocacy/legislative-action-watch/law-news. The Association also held a webinar on the topic on April 3. A recording of the session can be found here: onlineeducation.ppai.org/products/cares-act-and-what-it-means-for-the-industry.

For PPAI Members In Canada – Promotional Product Professionals of Canada (PPPC) has purchased services from the Michigan Promotional Products Association (MiPPA) to allow free webinar access. Keep in mind that the webinar content is originating from and created in the U.S., but most topics will be universally applicable. All webinars are eligible for PPAI certification points. PPPC is also working to create Canadian-specific webinars and French content.

Legal Counsel For Regional Associations – PPAI understands the importance of a strong regional community and remains committed to the regional associations, some of which are rescheduling or cancelling spring events. To help, the PPAI Board of Directors will pay two hours of legal fees for each regional, as needed, as they address these issues. 

Certification And Pyramid Submission Fees Waived – Beginning April 1 through June 30, the TAS, CAS and MAS application fees are waived and pricing for Associates will be at a 50-percent discount. Find more information here: www.ppai.org/members/certification/certification-programs. Additionally, this year’s Pyramid Awards submission fees are being waived. This competition opened on April 27 and will close on May 29. Details can be found at https://www.ppai.org/
members/awards/company-recognition.

COVID-19 Podcast Featuring PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE And ASI President And CEO Tim Andrews – On April 1, Paul Bellantone joined Tim Andrews for a special industry Town Hall, “COVID-19 Crisis: The Industry’s Leaders On Where We Go From Here.” As leaders of the promotional products industry’s two largest member organizations, they discussed what each organization is doing now to assist members, the $2 trillion stimulus package, shared advice on what small businesses can do now to survive and even thrive throughout the crisis, and outlined action plans and forecasts for the coming months. Hear a recording of the conversation at www.ppai.org/a-message-from-ppai-president-ceo-paul-bellantone-cae.

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James Khattak is news editor of PPB.

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