More states designate building material dealers as essential

Governors in the Northeast continue to provide "essential" designation to LBM businesses.

BY HBSDealer Staff

The number of states that have deemed lumber and building material businesses as “essential” has grown to eight, according to the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association (NRLA).

Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York have all officially passed Executive Orders declaring LBM industries as essential for the health and safety of the communities they serve, as well as for maintaining the infrastructure of their states.

According to NRLA Chair Lorraine Miner, “The health and safety of the individuals in the LBM industry serves as NRLA’s top priority.

“With the Executive Orders passed by our various governors, and the tireless efforts of the NRLA in bringing the voices of its members together, the LBM industry can continue to protect the welfare of its communities during these challenging times,” Miner said.

All states designating essential businesses, other than Pennsylvania, deem the entire LBM supply chain, as well as construction, as essential. Pennsylvania deems building materials dealers as essential, but wholesalers and manufacturers as non-essential.

The NRLA said it is continuing to lobby on the behalf of wholesalers and manufacturers in Pennsylvania.

Last week, Maine, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania designated building material suppliers as essential businesses.

“The NRLA’s ability to swiftly address the needs of its members is a sign of its strength,” commented NRLA President Rita Ferris. “The coordinated response of NRLA’s lobbyists, staff, and members working together to keep each other’s businesses operating has been impressive and rewarding. There is more work to be done as we anticipate additional states in our territory needing assistance.”

The NRLA, which operates in 11 states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region, has been advocating for the LBM supply industry to be deemed as essential and is asking member companies to email their Governor and Legislators to request this designation. This includes continuing to advocate for members in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

“As more and more states adopt an essential services model for business activity due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are thrilled that so many governors have recognized the critical need for the services and products the LBM industry provides to our communities,” said Kirk Ives, NRLA director of legislative and regulatory affairs. “During these difficult times, our members will continue to be a reliable resource for families, businesses, and construction projects across the United States.”

Based in Rensselaer, N.Y., the NRLA is a 1,200-member association representing independent lumber and building material suppliers and associated businesses in New York, New Jersey, the Mid-Atlantic, and six New England states.



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