OIA COMMUNICATIONS & INDUSTRY NEWS During COVID-19

OIA Communications

Letter From Lise AANGEENBRUG 6.30.20

Dear Valued Outdoor Industry Colleagues,

I am inspired every day by the passion, commitment and resolve of the outdoor industry. We know that to have a thriving outdoor industry, we also need and want people thriving outside and a thriving planet. We need to press forward to respond to a worldwide pandemic, economic uncertainty and climate change, all while ensuring the outdoors and the outdoor industry is equitable and inclusive. The individuals and companies that make up the outdoor industry are innovators, inventors, leaders and outdoor champions, and there is much we can do together.

This week is evidence of that. As we head into the holiday weekend, I’m excited to share some good news out of Washington, D.C., and from across our industry.

House Climate Crisis Action Plan
 
Today, the House of Representatives Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released a roadmap to help solve the climate crisis. The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient and Just America aims to “build a prosperous, clean energy economy that values workers, advances environmental justice, and is prepared to meet the challenges of the climate crisis.”
 
Our industry understands firsthand the devastating impacts of climate change. This congressional action is an essential step toward a partnership of industry and government to ensure a thriving planet. Read more here.
 
INVEST in America Act – URGE CONGRESS TO VOTE YES
 
Up for congressional vote this Wednesday is the INVEST in America Act, the House transportation and infrastructure package. It’s dense and has some good provisions related to clean energy, climate, conservation, ensuring the outdoors is for all and several items that impact outdoor recreation directly. We’ve summarized them here.
 
Before you or your elected officials take off for the long holiday weekend, use this action alert on our Advocacy Center to urge them to VOTE YES on the bill.
 
Recreate Responsibly Redux – July 4 – PLEASE AMPLIFY

As we approach the July 4th weekend where more people want to be outside, we hope you will join us and share with your customers and colleagues the #RecreateResponsibly tips to provide guidance for staying safe and healthy during this public health crisis. The Recreate Responsibly coalition, a diverse group of over 500 nonprofits, businesses, land managers and influencers have collaborated to develop and share best practices. Over 100 million people have engaged with the campaign since it launched over Memorial Day.
 

Importantly, the past month has shown that we all can contribute to making society and the outdoors more inclusive and equitable. The coalition has added a new foundational principle, calling on everyone to do their part in helping build a safe and welcoming outdoors for all identities and abilities.
 
Download the #RecreateResponsibly toolkit that includes graphics and sample social posts. Please help keep the outdoors safe and open by amplifying these messages.
 
For more info, go to recreateresponsibly.org.

Together We Are a Force,

Lise Aangeenbrug
OIA Executive Director


Letter From Lise AANGEENBRUG 5.21.20

Dear Valued Outdoor Industry Colleagues,

During this public health crisis, spending time in outdoor spaces has become so important for many, and we anticipate this trend will continue. People are drawn to the outdoors for fresh air, stress relief and the freedom it provides. This is positive news for outdoor businesses and for the health and well-being of Americans. As our public lands and waters reopen, our special places could get overwhelmed and people could be at risk.

To help ensure people thrive outside and stay safe, OIA is working with a national coalition of nonprofits, outdoor businesses and land managers on the #RecreateResponsbily campaign. The program shares guidelines and best practices to protect each other and our natural landscapes. We are a diverse community brought together by our love of the outdoors and a desire to help everyone experience the benefits of nature safely during this public health crisis.

Today, just in time for Memorial Day weekend, OIA and our partners are launching the #RecreateResponsibly initiative, with six guidelines for getting outside safely. Please join us in sharing the #RecreateResponsibly toolkit (English and Spanish) and message across your social media channels.

Let’s protect our special places and keep people going outside. Learn more at recreateresponsibly.org.

Together We Are a Force,

Lise Aangeenbrug
OIA Executive Director


The Recreate Responsibly Coalition Members


American Hiking Society
Children & Nature Network
City Parks Alliance
Hispanic Access Foundation
LBC Action
Leave No Trace
National Forest Foundation
National Park Foundation
Outdoor Afro
Outdoor Alliance
Outdoor Industry Association
Outdoor Recreation Roundtable
PeopleForBikes
REI
The Conservation Alliance
The North Face
The Trust for Public Lands
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Washington Trails Association


Letter From Lise AANGEENBRUG 4.29.20

Dear Valued Outdoor Industry Colleagues,

We continue to talk to the industry to understand the business impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey we recently conducted gives us some insights:

  • More than 50 percent of respondents projected their businesses to be down anywhere from 41 – 100 percent in the first half of the year.
  • 25 percent of businesses have suspended all operations with an additional 54 percent indicating that a portion of business has been suspended.
  • 80 percent of retailers stated that they have put a hold on orders or in-transit inventory.
  • The majority of businesses plan on taking advantage of government-provided loans and plan to use the money to make payroll and cover rent, mortgages or both. 

OIA is focused on supporting members through this very unexpected crisis—and also through our recovery. In the coming days, we will send out pulse surveys to continue to understand how you are impacted and learn how OIA can lend a hand with tools, resources and advocacy support.

While this has been devastating—from the lives lost to COVID-19 to the business and employee impacts—we have great hope and optimism about the future of the outdoor industry. In neighborhoods across the country, people are emerging from their homes and finding or rediscovering a love for the solace and stress reduction the outdoors can bring. We have an opportunity to welcome, serve and celebrate more people from diverse geographies and backgrounds who may not think of themselves as outdoorists but enjoy the outdoors—and we should be thinking about how we can best do that now.

Please continue to lean on OIA and access our COVID-19 Resource Hub and weekly webinars for support. If you would like to reach out to us directly in regard to your needs during COVID-19, please contact our membership team.


Together We Are a Force,

Lise Aangeenbrug
OIA Executive Director


Letter From Lise AANGEENBRUG 4.22.20

Happy Earth Day Outdoor Industry Colleagues,

Over 80 percent of the retailers and manufacturers who responded to our survey last month said they planned to access loans through the CARES Act. But in conversations with members over the past few weeks, we heard a common narrative: small businesses encountered frustrating roadblocks, and the $349 billion earmarked for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been depleted. Know that OIA is advocating on your behalf in Washington and at the state level. We expect Congress to pass a bill adding another $310 billion to the PPP late this week, and the program will run on a first-come, first-served basis. Our team is working to bring you helpful resources like this one, which includes a recorded webinar and detailed information about the SBA loan process. Burl Kelton of the Small Business Administration will conduct another webinar next Tuesday, April 28, with additional and updated information.
 
Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and the theme is climate change. While managing the COVID-19 crisis is clearly top of mind for all outdoor industry organizations and business leaders, OIA continues to support the industry in its efforts to lead on climate action. Many of you are already aware of our newly launched Climate Action Corps. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, OIA is taking time to check in, hear from members about the state of business and understand where your climate action goals fit into the new normal. It is interesting to hear that many organizations still prioritize climate action and sustainability in the current environment. Please take a moment to watch this short video from Amy Horton, OIA’s senior director of sustainable business innovation, for some Earth Day reflections and good news that we all can use.
 
Over the next couple of weeks, we will continue to support business as we look to the reopening of outdoor businesses, and we will also bring you news about the best practices and discussions around reopening the parks and trail systems across the country and how the outdoor industry and our customers can do this in a way that is safe for people and the parks.
 
Please continue to lean on OIA and access our COVID-19 Resource Hub and weekly webinars for support. If you would like to reach out to us directly in regard to your needs during COVID-19, please contact our membership team.


Together We Are a Force,

Lise Aangeenbrug
OIA Executive Director


Letter From Lise AANGEENBRUG 4.15.20

Dear Valued Industry Colleagues,

At OIA, we are laser-focused on supporting the needs of our members during the COVID-19 crisis. On Monday, we closed our industry survey that will help us understand your most pressing issues. We are digging into the results and comparing them with what we are hearing anecdotally from our members and partners.
 
Preliminarily, it is clear that businesses of all sizes and types are experiencing revenue loss, and many retailers and manufacturers are turning to small business loans with the hope of putting that money toward payroll, rents and mortgages. We are also hearing that many retailers are working with manufacturers to put inventory shipments on hold and push out billing dates instead of canceling orders altogether. In the coming weeks, we will continue to provide insights from our findings to better clarify the business impacts as they pertain to the outdoor industry. What we do know is that the current collaboration between retailers and manufacturers continues to show the strength of our industry when we stand and work together. 
 
With the knowledge we gather from the industry survey and through one-on-one member conversations, we will continue to build and hone our resources to directly support your needs.
 
We are also working with our team in D.C. and partners to continue to press for additional resources for small and midsized outdoor businesses. Together with the strong outdoor recreation economy numbers we developed over the past few years, the survey results will help us all make our case that outdoor businesses are a crucial economic driver in many communities and nationally. 
 
Please continue to lean on OIA and access our resources for support. If you would like to reach out to us directly in regard to your needs during COVID-19, please contact our membership team.


Together We Are a Force,

Lise Aangeenbrug
OIA Executive Director


Letter From Lise AANGEENBRUG 4.8.20

Dear valued outdoor industry colleagues,

Now More Than Ever, We Need to Be Together As a Force. For over 30 years, Outdoor Industry Association has been helping outdoor businesses by bringing our community together to lead and provide a unified, strong industry voice.

In the face of this unprecedented global pandemic, we are all struggling as individuals, as companies and as a community. As companies, we are experiencing sudden loss of revenue and disruption on a scale never before seen in our lifetimes.  As a community, we are searching for ways to stay connected and to help our communities, employees, businesses and relationships, which have been built over years—through good times and bad times.
 
We are all figuring out together how we will survive and ultimately thrive.
 
I am proud to work in the outdoor industry and to lead Outdoor Industry Association. We are at our best when we are working together for the greater good. We came together in 1989 to address common challenges like the defeat of the Backpack Tax. Over the years, we’ve passed important legislation that benefits the outdoors, and we’ve put the outdoor recreation economy on the map at the state and federal levels. We are helping to champion increased and more diverse participation in the outdoors, and we are leading important work to help the outdoor industry be part of the solution to the damaging effects of a changing climate. 
 
Now we have a new shared challenge, and as your trade association,we are moving quickly to help our members and our community access information, programs and funding. Our immediate and urgent focus is on supporting large and small businesses across the outdoor recreation economy spectrum. We are finding ways to partner with allied organizations, like the like Snowsports Industries America (SIA), PeopleForBikes, the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), Camber Outdoors and many others, to bring tools, resources and opportunities to connect—to help us all get through this very tough time.
 
Most urgently, we are working with local, state and federal governments to do the following:

  • Call on the Trump administration to remove punitive tariffs on outdoor goods and defer all tariffs for 90 days
  • Guide federal and state government to prioritize outdoor recreation businesses to be considered essential so that retailers can stay connected to their consumers—in a safe way
  • Have federal and state government increase investments and protections of our outdoor places—from the backyard to the backcountry

We know that every single person in our outdoor community is impacted. The cancellation of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market was the right thing to do, but it is both a financial loss and a loss of our ability to connect in person at a time when we need it most. Like our member companies, we are figuring out how to scale back our spending and provide the most efficient and most needed services to our members.
 
We are committed to serving our community now more than ever. If the last month is any indication of Americans’ continued or renewed desire to get outside, we know that having places to recreate or find solace resonates deeply across the country. 
 
As we come through and out the other side of this pandemic, a strong unified voice to fight for and support the success of the outdoor industry will be more important than it’s ever been.
 
Please reach out and let us know how we can best serve you.

Together We Are a Force,

Lise Aangeenbrug
OIA Executive Director


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