Posted March 20, 2020

Federal Guidelines for essential goods and services issued

The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors has released information to its members updating them on important issues concerning the COVID-19 virus.

"We have been working to get this done since our conference call with the President and Vice President earlier in the week, with execs from specific commodity lines requested by the White House," said Jade West, NAW's chief government relations officer.

These guidelines were announced by CISA – the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

"As far as we have been able to determine, CISA is the only Federal agency expected to announce guidelines in this matter," West said. "Please note that these guidelines are advisory to states and localities, not mandatory. Review these guidelines to see if your commodity line is covered, but we have been advised that the guidelines address our industry: “Employees of firms providing services that enable logistics operations, including cooling, storing, packaging, and distributing products for wholesale or retail sale or use.”

In addition, an emergency aid package has been signed into law by the president, which includes tax credit provisions to mitigate the cost to employers of new manadatory FMLA and sick leave mandates. A number of employee-benefit law firms have produced analyses of the leave provisions. You can access one such analysis here.

NAW also provided links to reports issued by various legislative committees:

Small business task forces


Committee on Finance