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Workplace Solutions Industry Week Gets Congressional Lift

March 10, 2021

Yesterday the workplace solutions industry received bi-partisan support from U.S. Representative Rob Wittman (R-VA) and Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX), who teamed up to introduce House Resolution 184, which expresses support for the designation of the week of March 28, 2021, through April 3, 2021, as National Small Business Workplace Solutions Week.

Like so many small businesses in every community, independent dealers in the workplace solutions industry have been equally hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. When the country shut down, it meant small businesses, like those in the workplace solutions industry, had to quickly reinvent themselves, while at the same time try to provide much needed personal protective equipment (PPE) to first responders, hospitals, schools, and other local small businesses.

“In 2020, our industry was hit hard like so many others. I am so proud of what our small businesses did and were willing to do during this crisis. They put the needs of community before their own,” stated Mike Tucker, Independent Office Products and Furniture Dealers Association (IOPFDA) Executive Director.

“Every year, small businesses create 1.5 million jobs, accounting for 64% of new jobs in the United States. But small businesses are not just job creators—they are innovators. That is especially true in the workplace solutions industry, which has proven essential to helping other small businesses and their employees, as well as the local, state, and federal agencies, adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. Adaptation has been a tremendous challenge small business are uniquely capable of solving, even as so many have been devastated by the pandemic. Thankfully, we can finally see a bright new dawn for the American economy beginning to peak over the horizon. In this time of economic recovery, recognizing small business is important, but not enough. We must continue to provide the support necessary for small businesses to get back on their feet as we continue getting Virginia’s economy moving again,” stated Rep. Wittman.

Working in a bi-partisan way, Rep. Wittman and Rep. Cuellar came together this week to recognize the industry for the essential role it played during the pandemic, but also for the important role it plays every day in their communities.

“I cannot thank Representatives Wittman and Cuellar enough for what they did yesterday. This recognition will go a long way in helping our industry recover. This effort shines a spotlight on small businesses who, during crisis, stepped up no questions asked and did what was needed to help provide critical PPE,” stated Melissa Ball, Ball Office Products CEO. “Being recognized for that effort will help us during our recovery phase of business.”

“Representatives Wittman and Cuellar get it! They have dedicated their careers in Congress to ensuring small businesses across this country can compete globally, not just locally. When the pandemic hit, Representatives Wittman and Cuellar led the effort to ensure small businesses like mine had the necessary resources to survive. I cannot thank them enough for that and this Resolution,” said Charlie Kennedy, Kennedy Office Supply CEO. “True small business champions!”

Starting March 28, the Workplace Solutions will begin a weeklong virtual Capitol Hill fly-in focused on educating Congress on the needs of small business to move them from survival to recovery mode. It will be a weeklong effort to share policy solutions with key lawmakers on how they can implement policies that offer opportunities for small business and cuts the red tape that holds them back from competing against multibillion dollar competitors

About IOPFDA
The Independent Office Products and Furniture Dealers Association (IOPFDA), a Division of ISSA, was formed in 1904 and has more than 600 members consisting of office products and furniture dealers, manufacturers, wholesalers, manufacturer representatives, and industry service providers across the United States. IOPFDA has two interactive divisions: the National Office Products Alliance (NOPA) and the Office Furniture Dealers Alliance (OFDA), both of which provide independent office products and furniture dealers with the information, knowledge, and tools they need to help them to be successful in today’s ever-evolving business environment. For more information visit www.iopfda.org.