President's Letter: Coronavirus Impacts and Toy Association Resources for Members
February 28, 2020 | COVID-19 is a serious evolving issue for each of us as individuals, family members, employers, and businesspeople. There is little doubt the weeks and months ahead will be rife with uncertainty. A threat and a challenge we must, and we will, face together.
With another successful Toy Fair New York behind us, our focus remains on COVID-19 and its many implications for the global toy community. The issue was a priority both leading up to and during the trade show, as we worked to ensure the safety of our attendees and address the impact of this latest coronavirus outbreak on our exhibitors and attendees from China who could not make the trip.
We are also acutely aware of the stress being placed on our factory partners and their employees in China and in equal measure the stress on Toy Association manufacturing members who need to get their toys onto shelves and into e-commerce streams for the summer and vital fall/holiday months. The team at The Toy Association continues to be in close communication with top government officials as we monitor developments and potential impacts of COVID-19 on every aspect of manufacturing in China as well as in toy manufacturing nations that rely on the supply chain from China. You have our commitment to provide the toy and play community with the most up-to-date information and resources as the situation unfolds.
The homepage of The Toy Association website prominently features an “Coronavirus Alert” box that I urge you to check regularly for updates, perspectives, and all new data that we unearth. We will continue to provide intelligence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as the contact information of our team members who can provide guidance in navigating factory disruptions and other supply chain logistics. Beyond this, we should all be making every effort to prepare for a public health emergency so please do visit the CDC and FEMA websites for guidance. Let’s do everything to prepare and hope that our best efforts will not be needed.
The situation continues to be fluid and change daily, which makes it impossible to predict what the ultimate impact will be. Each day we hear some factories remain open, some are closed, some have opened and then closed, and still others are looking to open again here in March. What appears to be the fact of the day is completely dependent on the individual factory, where its employees reside, the region, type of product produced, and so on. Like all who have chosen to read my letter this far, we look forward to returning to business as usual.
At the board and staff levels, The Toy Association is in continual discussion about how we can sort fact from fiction, provide useful insight, and assist and support the toy community, as well as our partners in China and their employees. Thankfully a good majority of our member companies are already taking actions to support their factory partners.
There is no more perilous a menace than uncertainty. Yet we face a good measure of exactly that at this time. Please reach out to me or your usual contact on The Toy Association team if you have any questions and be sure to follow our communications updates in the days to come. As always, questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and your query will be routed to the proper individual for reply or to set-up a conversation. I also ask every member to please complete a short survey being shared in the coming days to let us know how the outbreak is affecting you and your company. The information we gather will inform our discussions with federal officials as we all work together to develop a response plan to this unfortunate situation.
All good wishes to you, your families, and your teams always – and especially as we progress through the coming weeks.
President & CEO
Follow me on Twitter @StevePasierb