AAMP executive director Chris Young issued advice to the US processing industry as it faces issues related to the pandemic including business support.
He said: “I have received many questions from members regarding House Bill H.R. 6201: Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which was passed over the weekend by the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill states it would ‘guarantee free Coronavirus testing, establishes paid leave, enhances unemployment insurance, expands food security initiatives, and increases federal Medicaid funding’.
“We are currently working on reaching out to members of Congress to get further clarification on the bill and to express our concerns about its effect on small businesses. When we get clear information, we will communicate those findings to you. I will be participating in a call this afternoon with the White House and senior administration officials on industry-specific updates to the Coronavirus.”
Young said there is information online for businesses concerned about having a member of staff infected with the virus.
“Many have asked about company protocols for an infected employee. AAMP is working to gather as much information as we can for our members to use in deciding how to respond to the virus in their individual businesses. This information is available on our website and we will continue to update it.
“At this point, there have been no federal mandates that would limit your processing or retail business. We cannot monitor every local situation, so if something happens within your state or county and you are unsure of what it means, then please reach out and we will work to find the answers.”
He added that it was important to keep the business going where possible.
“You should continue to advertise and promote your business now more than ever. Let customers know what you have in stock and highlight the care you take in producing products. Be sure to inform customers of the extra sanitary precautions you take to ensure safe, wholesome food.
“We are experiencing unprecedented times in our world and things are changing each day, but it will soon pass. I would encourage you to try to keep your day-to-day life and business operations as normal as possible while taking the proper precautions to remain healthy.”