May 20, 2021

Note From Tim Andrews, ASI's President/CEO: Getting America and Promo Back to Business

  • by Admin

It's clear by nearly every metric - continued low interest rates, huge pent-up demand for travel and entertainment, "help wanted" signs all over America - that we are on the brink of perhaps the biggest economic expansion in decades.  With the masks starting to come off, Americans are leaping at the chance to get back to normal - and back to business. A critical component for success: Vaccinations. About 40% of the U.S. population is now fully vaccinated, according to the CDC . Our industry entrepreneurs were the first in 2020 to spin to a totally unknown market and provide lifesaving PPE, leading even established providers of healthcare products and generating hundreds of millions of sales dollars that kept distributors and suppliers afloat and, in some cases, breaking their own revenue records. We now need to harness that same drive and determination and invest, execute and position our businesses for prosperity in the second half of the year, into 2022 and beyond.  True leaders are hiring where they can, maintaining flexible work environments to prevent employees from being lured away, investing in marketing that provides measurable, nearly immediate ROI (think digital advertising and in-person events), and being more aggressive than timid competitors who are less ambitious, less decisive and less confident in the future. For this infant recovery to shift into high gear: • Fully reopen America , with ASI helping lead the way with redesigned hosted-buyer events beginning in June and our large annual in-person trade show July 13-15 in Chicago - setting an example for future industry events, helping suppliers and distributors reconnect, communicate and find new customers and vendors, while boosting the local economy of restaurants, transportation, hotels and entertainment. We plan more in-person events throughout the year, and we encourage people to attend and embrace the reopening, confident in vaccination levels. • Meet the great demand for hiring across all businesses with more supply of people by considering changes to the current unemployment benefit extras and work search rules and undertaking bipartisan immigration reform to address our needs longer term. Suppliers tell us they're getting more new orders every day, but often lack enough production and warehouse staff to fill orders and anticipate additional future demand. • Contact your elected representatives and tell them that if we don't reopen fast and fully, ramp up hiring and rev up production and delivery, we'll see more inflation in labor costs and miss the opportunity to regain our economic footing. Business owners get that. Politicians don't. As the most powerful economy, the United States must spark the world's recovery in the post-COVID age. It's time to get back to work and back in person, safely and fully vaccinated, leading and not following.

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