Coronavirus Government Response Update—Act to Declare the Cleaning Industry Essential

March 19, 2020 Coronavirus Government Response Update—Act to Declare the Cleaning Industry Essential

Welcome to the new Coronavirus Government Response Update. This information is intended to keep ISSA members up to date on fast-moving government affairs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other public policy issues important to the cleaning industry. Today’s update touches on ISSA working to ensure the cleaning industry is declared essential during this time of crisis, an ISSA summary of the federal coronavirus legislative response, ISSA participating in a supply-chain readiness call with the White House, and more.

Act Today to Ensure the Cleaning Industry is Declared “Essential” During this Time of Crisis
Governments throughout the United States are understandably taking drastic steps to combat the rapid transmission of COVID-19, including shutting down businesses deemed nonessential. Please take a moment to contact your elected officials to request they recognize the cleaning industry as essential, providing products and services that are indispensable in the effort to combat the spread of COVID-19. Since yesterday, more than 6,000 messages have already been sent by ISSA members urging governments to recognize our industry as essential. If you haven’t already done so, please take 60 seconds to send this important message and encourage your customers, employees, and vendors to do the same.

ISSA Federal Coronavirus Legislative Response Summary
On March 18, the U.S. Congress passed the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (HR 6201). The House made some important “technical” changes which ISSA supported related to small businesses. These changes allowed the U.S. Labor Department secretary to exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees from abiding by the leave requirement if it would significantly impact the “viability of the business”; narrowed the leave program definitions to focus on families caring for children following the closure of schools or daycares; changed emergency family leave to begin after 10 days, rather than after 14 days; capped assistance at US$10,000 per employee; and increased paid sick leave and family leave tax credits to include amounts from employees’ health care plans.

ISSA Applauds President’s Focus on Supply-Chain Readiness—Cleaning Industry Prepared to Help
John H. Barrett, Executive Director of ISSA, participated in a conference call on March 17, 2020, with U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. The call focused on the importance of maintaining a strong supply chain for critical supplies in the face of the COVID-19 emergency. Also participating in the call were executives from Medline Industries Inc., MSC Industrial Supply, W.W. Grainger Inc., Home Depot, Imperial Dade, and many other ISSA member companies.

ISSA Urges Congress and Administration to Take  a Broad and Quick Economic Response to COVID-19
More than 100 business groups, including ISSA, wrote to Congress and the Administration requesting that the response to the economic crisis confronting companies and organizations is on the same scale as steps being taken to respond to the virus itself. Entire portions of the economy have been shut down and already businesses are closing their doors and laying off workers. For the economic response to be effective, it needs to be broad and it needs to be in place quickly.

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