The COVID-19 pandemic has created a multitude of challenges for all of us. Through all of these issues confronting us today, our recommended partner, Federated Insurance, has worked closely with their customers to help them find their way through these unprecedented times. Federated is a "Value-Add" company that provides not only some of the best insurance products designed for our industry, but also the safety and risk management support that our members need for their successful businesses. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, they have provided the latest guidelines to help our members navigate through these times. In addition, they have provided billing options to ease cash flow concerns and adjusted payroll and premium basis,where appropriate.
Today, Federated announced their COVID-19 Client Relief Credit, providing premium reductions for their customers in our
industry and others throughout the country.
* Federated's COVID-19 Client Relief Credit will provide a 15% credit based on Business Auto premium, Auto Dealer/Garage Coverage Part premium, and Business owners Policy (BOP) premium from March 15 to June 15. Policies must be in force at the time relief credit is applied. These actions are subject to regulatory approval.
Policyholders will automatically see the COVID-19 Client Relief Credit applied in the upcoming months. Federated was founded on the four cornerstones of equity, integrity, teamwork, and respect, and has once again shown that
they are dedicated to serving the needs of the members of this organization. This is one of the reasons that your association board continues to recommend Federated Insurance. They work hard to do what is right for their customers.
Association membership doesn't cost, it pays!
Jeff Fetters Chairman and CEO of Federated Insurance wrote a letter detailing the Client Relief Credit. His letter can be read in full HERE.
With negotiations still ongoing for a second relief package following the passage of the CARES Act at the end of March, various policy priorities remain on the table for what lawmakers are calling "CARES 2". Speaker Pelosi has floated a 'guaranteed income' policy for certain individuals who make below a certain threshold. Meanwhile, Majority Leader McConnell is focused on shielding healthcare and other businesses from liability regarding COVID-19.
As an essential business, grocers have experienced a surge in sales during the coronavirus crisis despite restrictions imposed on other retailers. But while sales of food, cleaning products and paper goods are soaring, floral products are taking a lower priority, even with the looming Mother's Day holiday.
However, there are opportunities to leverage floral for at-home activities amid nationwide shelter-in-place orders, as flowers offer tangible benefits for consumers beset by anxiety in uncertain times.
You can view some marketing ideas HERE.
President Donald Trump plans to order meat-processing plants to remain open, declaring them critical infrastructure as the nation confronts growing disruptions to the food supply. Trump plans to use the Defense Production Act to order the companies to stay open, and the government will provide additional protective gear for employees as well as guidance.
The President signaled the executive action at the White House Tuesday, saying he planned to sign an order aimed at Tyson Foods Inc.'s liability, which had become "a roadblock" for the company. The order, though, will not be limited to Tyson's; it will affect all processing plants supplying beef, chicken, eggs and pork.
The White House decided to make the move amid estimates that as much as 80% of the U.S. production capacity could shut down. Illnesses in the meat-processing industry and shifts in demand as restaurants have closed have disrupted the food supply chain in recent weeks. Dairy farmers are dumping milk that can't be sold to processors, broiler operations have been breaking eggs to reduce supplies and some fruit and vegetables are rotting in fields amid labor and distribution disruptions
We sincerely appreciate all of the efforts and sacrifices you have made to ensure the public has access to healthy and safe products. During this time, the Missouri WIC program has not conducted Level 3 onsite visits to retailers for the eWIC project. Point of Sale (POS) providers have continued to work with retailers on installing and upgrading equipment and software when it has been safe to do so and to work around the busy sales times for stores serving customers to ensure safety and reduce the risk of exposure to and spreading of the virus.
Due to the COVID-19 event, the Missouri WIC program will be rescheduling the eWIC rollout areas to begin July 6, 2020 and statewide completion by August 31, 2020. The Missouri WIC program and the USDA, have discussed concerns regarding the high number of COVID-19 cases in the original rollout 2 area which is in the St. Louis, MO area of the state. In order to allow this area sufficient time to decrease the number of COVID-19 cases and to decrease the possible exposure of state personnel, contractors, local agency staff, and WIC participants to the virus, we have decided to move the implementation of this area to the end of the rollout schedule.
A revised eWIC rollout map can be found HERE.
In preparation for the local agencies to begin issuing eWIC cards the week of July 6, we must begin completing Level 3 visits as soon as possible in mid-May if the Stay-At-Home order is lifted in the Kansas City area. Missouri WIC program and CDP, Inc. staff have been in contact with stakeholders about initiating Level 3 visits at the retailer locations that have eWIC functionality installed. We will be notifying retailers of the dates for the Level 3 onsite visits in the near future.
The Missouri WIC program appreciates the service that you provide to our WIC families and to your communities. We apologize for the inconvenience of rescheduling the eWIC rollout schedule; however, it is critical that all stakeholders involved in this project are safe and healthy to successfully proceed with this statewide project. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns by calling 573-751-8322 or by email at Bridgett.Henderson@health.mo.gov.
During today’s COVID-19 briefing, Governor Mike Parson announced the first phase of the “Show Me Strong Recovery” Plan outlining how Missouri will gradually begin to reopen economic and social activity on Monday, May 4, 2020.
Resting on four essential pillars, the “Show Me Strong Recovery” Plan is intended to protect those most at risk of exposure to COVID-19 while returning Missouri to a new normal:
1. Expand testing capacity and volume in the state
2. Expand reserves of PPE by opening public and private supply chains
3. Continue to monitor and, if necessary, expand hospital and health care system capacity, including isolation and alternate care facilities for those that cannot self-quarantine at home
4. Improve ability to predict potential outbreaks using Missouri's public health data
This framework will allow the state to work through a gradual reopening, leading to broader economic recovery.
During phase one of the plan, citizens may begin returning to economic and social activities but must adhere to social distancing requirements, including maintaining six feet of space between individuals in most cases. There are currently no limitations on social gatherings as long as necessary precautions are taken and six feet of distance can be maintained between individuals and/or families.
Additionally, all businesses can be open provided that the social distancing guidelines set forth in the new health order are followed. Some businesses will be required to take additional precautions to protect their employees and the public, such as occupancy limits at retail locations.
You can view the Governor's phase 1 guidelines HERE. You can also keep up with the latest information on Governor Parson's "Show Me Strong Recovery" plan HERE.
USDA FNS will be hosting a SNAP Online Q&A session for interested retailers this Friday, April 24 at 1:00 P.M. CT. Registration is not required and details for participation are located at this link. The recording from NGA's April 15 SNAP Online webinar is available for viewing HERE.
The Coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for employers that are attempting to meet OSHA regulatory obligations - such as annual training, auditing, testing, medical surveillance requirements, and the like - without creating greater risk of exposure to COVID-19 for their employees. OSHA issued a new Enforcement Memorandum acknowledging that reality. Provides enforcement relief for employers who exercise good faith in the context of this extraordinary health crisis.
Click HERE for the full article.
Should you wipe down your food and packages?
A new survey by Nielsen shows the shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables has become even more important to consumers during the coronavirus pandemic. While shoppers said fresh items are still key, they've also been buying more produce in canned, bottled or frozen form, Nielsen found, noting purchases of frozen and shelf-stable products grew up to five times faster than fresh fruit year over year from Jan. 1 to April 4. You can view the full story HERE.
The Missouri Grocers Association | 315 N Ken Ave, Springfield, MO 65802 | Phone: 417-831-6667 | Fax: 417-831-3907