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Covid-19: «Convenience services are an essential industry» says Nama’s CEO

Greg Sidwell NAMA

CHICAGO, U.S. – NAMA will hold “Listening & Leading” town hall webcasts March 24 in which members can advise NAMA of the challenges they are facing during the COVID-19 outbreak and ask questions in real time, to assist NAMA in serving them best during this unprecedented and challenging time, the association announced in a press release this morning.

“NAMA is bringing everyone together to ensure that we know and understand the challenges that our members are facing. This information will allow our team to assess where we can be of greatest value and support the industry at-large,” Eric Dell, NAMA’s senior vice president, said in the release.

“The NAMA team is working day and night to support our members we care so much about. We know there is measurable value in connecting the industry, especially when it is needed most. Together, we will work through this time and prove, once again, how resilient the industry is.”

A 1 p.m. ET webinar (register here) will focus on issues for operators and a 3 p.m. ET webinar (register here) will focus on issues impacting suppliers, brokers, distributors, machine manufacturers and international members.

NAMA president and CEO Carla Balakgie urged elected officials and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin in a letter to the President of the United States and congressional leaders to consider convenience services as an essential industry during this time of crisis, according to another press release from NAMA. The letter was also shared with State Governors, and elected officials.

“Our industry is uniquely situated to provide food and beverages in a ‘contactless’ manner as our nation practices safe, social distancing,” Balakgie wrote. “Nurses and doctors providing aid, truck drivers making essential deliveries, and public servants working to keep our communities safe all rely on unattended retail to stay nourished. We hope our elected officials recognize the 365, 24/7 reliability of our retail channel.”

NAMA’s letter also asks leaders to ensure its members are included in federal financial stimulus being debated. The Senate passed March 18 its first round of coronavirus relief, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act; sending it to the President’s desk for signature into law.