Managing Business in a Coronavirus World



These are challenging times for everyone.

With this page, Namta would like to help by sharing information and ideas that we have found, along with what our members are doing to navigate these difficult times, with the hope it might be of help to even one company or person.

We wish there was more we could do, but please know that we are thinking about all of you, in every country, around the world.

- Namta



March 28, 2020
Seen on Instagram today. A cool thing for your kids.
Or, maybe an idea for your retail store.



The Craft Studio
in NYC is hosting online Zoom classes for $10/each.

If you're not already familiar with Zoom, maybe today is a good day to look into it and see if your store can use it to stay connected with customers and artists.

 




March 27, 2020
Interesting post on Instagram by Akamia Art Supplies in Hawaii



We have been granted a very tenuous exemption by the state because we offer educational materials and materials for people who work from home.



  • We are practicing very strict sanitation and social distancing policy and urge you stay home unless you absolutely need to go out.
  • We are working alone, and the phones have been busy. Please be patient if you call and can't get through.
  • We are offering only pick up and mail orders.
  • We will be in the store answering calls from 10-2 Monday through Friday and during those hours items will be available for pickup. Please e-mail or call us and do not place your order through the website. It does not indicate what we have in stock, and many items are not listed there.
  • Payment must be made via credit card on the phone prior to pickup.



March 26, 2020
A Namta Retailer in South Carolina told us what some Manufacturers are doing  . . .

"I have received some unexpected free samples from a couple of Namta Manufacturers. That has been very welcomed. I actually have a little time to test these samples. Things are tough, but we will get through this."

 


March 26, 2020
Namta Suppliers staying in touch
On March 24, this was sent out by Namta Supplier DecoArt

To ensure the safety of our employees and their families, DecoArt has taken the following steps as of Tuesday, March 24, 2020:

Business Operations:

  • We have ceased Manufacturing and Shipping operations effective immediately.
  • At this time, we are projected to resume these Operations on Monday, April 13th in a limited capacity ensuring a safe return to the workplace.
  • Customer Service and Sales force will continue remote work in a reduced staffing capacity but are available directly for your needs with no interruption.
- Retailers, Distributors, and our Valued Customers:  Product Orders will still be received and scheduled accordingly as we look forward to fulfilling your product needs following our return.
- DecoArt.com and Social Artworking.com Customers:  We will continue to accept your on-line orders however we are unable to fulfill them at this time due to our suspended operations.  We are looking forward to resuming operations and filling these orders as quickly as possible!
  • Marketing and Product Development efforts will continue remotely to create and share creative inspiration that we need today and in the future.

Supplier and Customer Visits and Travel:

  • Customer Visits, Supplier Visits, Show Travel or any designated travel remains cancelled for an indefinite period of time.
  • Our IT Capabilities allow for you to have calls with the DecoArt Team via Conference, Webinar or Skype as required.

Inspiration and Creativity:

  • Our Creative Team continues to share enhanced creative projects and inspirational ideas during this time.
  • With the impact of businesses closing we are committed to ensuring that our Makers have an outlet to do what they enjoy most.
  • We look forward to you visiting our Website and Social Media Platforms for these ideas and inspiration.

These times are like no other we have experienced in our lifetimes.  DecoArt sends their best to all of our Employees, Customers, Vendors and Makers and we are holding everyone who has been touched by this crisis close to our creative hearts.



March 25, 2020
Emailed from Namta Manufacturer Member U-Mark


This is to inform you, that, based on The State of Illinois EXECUTIVE ORDER IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 (COVID-19 EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8) dated March 20, 2020, U-Mark is considered an essential business per art. 12, paragraph N (Supplies for Essential Businesses and Operations) and paragraph T (Manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries).
 
We have organized our operations to enhance safety and health of employees – keeping vulnerable employees home, having office workers work from home - and practicing upgraded sanitation, health and distancing protocols. We plan to operate in this manner until April 7th, 2020 and/or longer, based on any new official executive orders.
 
What this mean to you, our valued customer:
 
•    Your Orders will be shipped normally. At the moment we are not experiencing supply chain or production issues. If we do, we will let you know promptly.
•    You can place orders and communicate with us as usual, please use [email protected] as a preferred method.
•    Feel free to call or email us with any questions.
•    We will continue with transparent and consistent communications with you.
 



March 25, 2020
Today we received more from our retailers about the reality of handling this situation.



Carol from Salt Bay Art Supply in Damariscotta, Maine, says "If people in the arts can’t be creative, who can?"  She will be taking email and phone orders for same day pick up from an outside receptacle starting April 1st. She will be doing this on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for the foreseeable future.

Carol regrets they do not have the staff to make deliveries and, in order to limit exposure, will not be able to mail product. Carol added, "Stay safe, everyone. Keep your distance and keep your sense of humor."




Lawrence Art Supplies in Hove, East Sussex, United Kingdom, has been forced to temporarily close up shop, but  their website and telephone lines are still taking mail orders for UK and beyond  - wherever is still possible to ship. www.lawrence.co.uk









Preston Arts Center
in Louisville, Kentucky is offering:

  • Curbside Pickup and Delivery (within 30 minutes of the store)
  • eMail and call-In orders
  • Some demos and instructional video available
  • Visit www.prestonartscenter.com/




March 24, 2020
Today we asked, and received information from Namta retailers about what how they are handling this, and what they have for artists during these strange times.



California
ARCH Art & Drafting Supply is offering Drive-By-Pick-Up and Delivery. We are taking phone and email orders currently.

We are not open for browsing or walk ups. Please call ahead. We are working on adding more and more to our webstore. We'll be posting some giveaways on our Instagram @archsupplies in the coming weeks too!

Facebook




Hawaii
"Our state goes on lock down tonight at 12:01.  We are currently offering curbside service only with pick ups from 10 am to 2 pm.  We will continue this as long as it makes sense and is allowed by the powers that be.  We are asking customers to call ahead and pay over the phone or email with a phone number so we can have them pay. Credit cards only. Whew! Crazy times."  -  Johanna Wiseman,  Akamai Art Supply 

 

 



Connecticut
Due to the large volume of interactions we have with students and faculty, this morning Hull's received a waiver from the State of Connecticut allowing us to remain open. Our primary focus will be to help students who are still in town finish their projects.

I will be here roughly 10AM - 4PM every day depending on your needs. The door will be locked so please knock loudly or ring the phone when you get to the door. We will be admitting no more than 2 customers at a time.

I am continuing to clean and sanitize on a continual basis but I ask that you touch product as a little as possible. Consider products in your mind rather than them picking them up and pondering before deciding on purchase.

I will let you in if you have a clear idea of what you need, no casual browsing at this time. If there is a line outside please be considerate and shop as quickly as possible. Anyone waiting outside the store must maintain social distancing of at least six feet.

You may also continue to order online at www.hullsnewhaven.com, via email at [email protected] or by phone at 203-865-4855.






California

Lenz Arts is doing limited curbside service on certain days. Details/updates at LenzArts.com.






 




Jerry's Live
- Every Tuesday starting at 5:30pm EST on both Jerry’s official Facebook and YouTube, is a Jerry’s LIVE broadcast which is designed to help those create more, learn about art materials, be inspired and learn - it all for the arts and give everyone a chance to learn and be creative, and is interactive with Q&A. Jerry's Live Schedule

"Now more than ever it is so important for us to continue and so we lift the spirits of artists and creative folks to inspire hope, stress relief and just wash away the anxiety in their lives - it has had to be moved to a remote location to have it still happening."

At Home Weekly Challenge- Every week we are giving away $850 in ecards just for entering based on a challenge/theme
Free Art Lessons - online art instructional videos along with the supply lists.

See full list here



March 23, 2020
On Instagram from a Namta Supplier

@legionpaper

  

We’ve created an EDU page with some of our favorite videos & tutorials.
We’ll continue to add more throughout the next few weeks. Share your work from these tutorials and let us know if you have any you’d like us to share for the community. We’re all in this together.
Legionpaper.com/EDU or check out the link in our bio.
#CantQuarantineArt.
Art by @jhaamsey.

#WeArePaper #LegionPaper




March 23, 2020
From PartnerShip Shipping - a Namta Benefit Company
 PartnerShip.com/NAMTA


PartnerShip remains
committed to supporting you and keeping your shipments moving during this ever-changing situation, with this statement.

"We are taking every possible measure to ensure the safety of our staff while also providing you with the same level of service you’ve come to expect from PartnerShip. Our goal is to minimize any further disruptions to your business. We continue to monitor the situation and will make any changes needed to continue to serve you. If you have any concerns, we are here to help."

 

 


March 22, 2020
All in it together.



Alpha 6 is offering to dropship orders for any Art Supply store that wants to put Alpha 6 products on their website.





March 21, 2020

Information from:




U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published Federal Register notices that provided details for the recently announced temporary travel restrictions on both the Northern and Southern Border. The restrictions are effective for the next 30 days. The restrictions apply to non-essential travel across the borders.

Temporary Travel Restrictions Applicable to Land Ports of Entry and Ferries Service between the United States and Canada

Temporary Travel Restrictions Applicable to Land Ports of Entry and Ferries Service Between the United States and Mexico


March 20, 2020
We found this great way of communicating to customers on Instagram and Facebook from Namta Member Rath Art Supplies in Vancouver BC, Canada.





March 19, 2020
On the lighter side, on The Today Show, we found this.


In an interview with Savannah Guthrie, Jimmy Fallon says he is "doing lot of painting and crafts, Arts & Crafts . . ." with his two daughters.







March 19, 2020
we found this in
MacPherson's ArtDog

Minimizing Contact:
Curbside Pickup, Delivery & Online Stores

Stores that are being impacted by shelter-in-place, self-quarantining or social distancing have mobilized this week to reconfigure their business. They are taking innovative steps including curbside pickup and delivery. Even if you are not at that point, consider setting up systems now. If you have an online store, bring the focus to the shopping aspect on your site, and promote deals via social.

The Art Supply Depo, an art supply store with two locations in Bowling Green and Toledo, Ohio, is a part of a community of retailers leading the charge with innovative responses. Owner Jules Webster shares some words of wisdom, and offers others in our art supply community to use the store’s copy on social media to edit it to suit your needs.

“My suggestion to other retailers is to switch to curbside pick up ASAP. We’re doing well with curbside pick up… I think the reason we are successful with it is because we made the decision to switch fast, and were one of the first in our business community to make the change. Our announcement didn’t get lost in the sea of other business notifications. I’m not saying it’s not possible now, but do it fast, and announce it consistently on social media.”



March 18, 2020
We were able to send these answers from Namta Manufacturers
to a Namta Member who asked:

I hope this message finds you well and healthy! I wanted to once again pick your brain for potential resources. In the SF north bay area we are fairly certain that a "shelter in place" order will come down in the next couple of days, which would require all 'non-essential' businesses to go dark. I know this is the case in New York and Los Angeles, as well as San Francisco and Marin counties, and I wonder if any other small to medium sized manufacturers are dealing with this, and how they are handling it. Right now we have measures in place for our warehouse employees that allow them to work different shifts with fewer people so they can be farther apart, as well as increased cleaning and sanitizing, and our office folks can work remotely. Do you know of any manufacturers of our size (we have roughly 50 employees) who are in or are planning for a full shutdown if mandated by local government? If not, totally okay- I just thought I would check as you are so well connected and have always been so helpful.


ANSWER 1
No plans to shutdown unless there is a local/state directive.  However we have put in place precautions similar to what is written by the namta member.  Please found our plans below.

Immediate actions taken -

-    An official letter was created to update clients about the current situation, and all measures we are taking to maintain our facilities
-    Policies on High traffic and personal space surface cleaning were established.  We must follow strict BRC food safety regulations, however, we have increased measures due to the virus. Areas are to be cleaned every 4hrs and once before the end of day.  Disinfectant (5:1 water: Clorox/18% concentration) to be sprayed on all doors, handles, workspaces, keyboards, restrooms
-    No Visitors allowed without appointment.
-    Heavy duty nitrile gloves were ordered and to be used by all employees at all time.  Should be changed every two hours and when employee uses the rest room and take breaks.
-    Sanitation and cleaning chemicals were located and purchased; Clorox and Disinfectant.

Actions Pending:
-    Establishing every 2 hours wash hands and gloves replacement for all line workers. (Production & QC)
-    Assign and designate cleaning personnel (door and handle disinfection).
-    Coordinating a weekly safety meeting amongst management, as story continues to develop
-    Create a budget for wages for restricted workers. Please see link from NJ labor in regards Lost wages due to Covid 19. Note:  We are currently discussing offering small, short term loans for all employees if they have to take leave, fall ill, or we have a shutdown due to contamination.
-    Continue to look for emergency resources (Cleaning supplies, Extra PPE, Emergency disinfection Quotes and Temp Labor Quotes)
I hope this helps


ANSWER 2
Our situation: we have headquarters and warehouse in Tuscany, that is not heavily affected by Covid 19, we have production in North East, similar situation and we have general headquarters (mother company) in Milan, one of the worst clusters.

Here in Tuscany and in production in North East we adopted the following measures:
- fever measurements in the warehouse to all workers entering in and once leaving;
- distancing more than 1 meter among any worker;
- masks (PPF2 or PPF3) for everybody;
- alternate shifts whenever is possible in the offices to keep anybody safe and at the same time keep service to our public (suppliers, customers and so on)
- great focus on internal information saying that is up to anybody to detect and inform the company if we feel any of the symptoms (fever, coughing, etc.) and immediately stay home (unfortunately it is really hard to have a test);
 
In Milan, we are doing smart working, the virus is really too much spread out to adopt different precautions. Hopefully in two-three weeks also there we might think to have the same as above.

ANSWER 3
  • ...multiple people have taken off, so we're working with a skeleton crew.
  • We are not closing
  • PA is allowing manufacturing to stay open
  • We have 8 employees
  • Created a safe/low risk environment
  • Recommending everyone wear masks
  • Have disposable gloves available
  • Delivery drivers are not allowed in the space
  • Have cancelled all outside visitors
  • If an employee has a weakened immune system or does not feel safe, they are able to stay home with weekly status updates for their return.
  • Trying to navigate weird times.
Hope this helps!

ANSWER 4
We are limiting our office/warehouse visits.  When at warehouse: we’re mandating to wear masks.  Administration is working at home/remote.

ANSWER 5
We aren’t planning yet for a full shutdown, but we’ve considered that into our fluid plan that we are currently working with.  We’re doing the things that company below mentioned, but if we have to shut down, that means we stop shipping.  Then that would mean that certain office personnel and management would most likely continue to work, but from home, doing things like tech help via the phone, answering customer emails, working on projects, etc…

ANSWER 6
In NJ and PA – they have defined “essential services”… and in both states, it seems that manufacturing is considered essential.  In NY  the governor has not yet declared for ALL businesses to close.  We’re hopeful that he’ll follow the same path as NJ and PA, should he declare the full shutdown of businesses in NYS.  

So be sure to read the fine print of what is included in “essential” businesses.  If you can continue – do follow best practices of social distancing.  We have a two-shift operation in manufacturing working 4, 10 hour days.  We’re moving at least 30% of each shift to 3, 12 hour days of operations.. so that we’ll manufacture 7 days per week and provide more space on the manufacturing floor.

ANSWER 7
We are limiting our office/warehouse visits.  When at warehouse: we’re mandating to wear masks.  Administration is working at home/remote.