Hello Book Friends,
GLIBA is committed to helping you and your store navigate this current time, and we are updating our resources daily. Below you will find a list of resources and we are updating gliba.org on an almost daily basis with current news, updated resources and next steps you can take. Please check back regularly.
As a next step to help our membership, we are waving 2020 member dues for ALL GLIBA bookstores.
Please update your membership here.
A NOTE FROM LARRY
Some of you may have heard I tested positive for COVID-19. I debated whether I should share this information publicly. Ultimately, I decided to for a few reasons. I want you, my bookselling friends and family, to know this issue is real, has affected someone you know, is manageable and that we need to take every precaution to stop it from spreading. I also want my situation to help ground what is happening in reality and hopefully make it less anxiety inducing for everyone. I have highlighted the most frequently asked questions, and am answering them from a patient’s perspective. I hope this helps bring you some peace and lets you know there is some positivity to what seems like an endless and powerfully negative situation.
What were your symptoms?
A dry cough, restricted breathing, chills, sweats, body aches and a fever of 100.5.
How are you treating it?
I have been self-quarantining. I am not staying at home with Sandra and Vivian. I am staying hydrated, eating lots of warm liquids like soup, coffee, tea, etc. Taking Vitamin C and trying to eat regularly. I am also using a humidifier and trying to rest as much as possible.
Where or how did you contract it?
I do not know. I started showing symptoms six days after the last time I had been in public. The grocery store and Walgreens were the last public locations I had been before symptoms showed. I have asthma and I am a habitual face toucher. I cannot confirm, but that combination probably made me more susceptible to contracting it.
How do you feel?
I feel really good. My first day of symptoms was terrible. Since then, my symptoms have been mild, and each day is better and better. Restricted breathing has been the only consistent issue. As of today, I would compare it to being a Midwesterner in Colorado-- I get winded easily and it feels like I haven’t adjusted to the elevation.
This is scary but manageable. Very fortunately, my symptoms were mild. Having had the virus, I am positive many of us have had it and just didn’t know. If I had not gotten so sick the first day, I would have not gone to the hospital. I would have assumed my asthma was acting up or I had an upper respiratory infection. This is one of the reasons we need to take every precaution until this is over. With the lack of available testing, it is almost impossible to know who has it. Please take care of yourself. We will get through this. The outpouring of messages and positivity has been overwhelming and I am so grateful. I am doing great and I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to seeing my bookselling family again. - Larry
GLIBA BOOKSELLER CHATS EVERY WEDNESDAY
Register for Chat
Wednesday, April 1st | 12:00PM - 1:00PM CT
To help our membership both stay safe and adapt, GLIBA will facilitate online video conversations for GLIBA booksellers to take place every Wednesday, starting Wednesday, April 1st from 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT. Going forward, we will rotate the time of day to accommodate different schedules. Next week’s conversation will be held Wednesday April 7th at 9-10am CDT.
This conversation is meant to keep us united- sharing best practices for dealing with COVID-19, voice concerns, and help plan for the future. It also serves to provide much needed face to face time with fellow booksellers. Space is limited so pease register here and share any questions or best practices you would like to discuss during the call. The call will be held via Zoom.
A link to the chat is below and will be on the registration page.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 677 509 6962
COVID-19 Important Information
Who do I reach out to regarding permission to carry on business?
• Consistently stores reaching out on the state level have been turned down
• Focus your efforts locally
• We have seen access granted to bookstores by local government including city council Mayors, city attorneys and local assemblymen
• Contacting local government also encourages them to promote and support business in this time
What to do when making your request:
• Avoid requesting to be considered essential on social media.
• Emphasize public safety. Businesses remain closed to the public, only handling online orders with minimal staff maintaining safe distances
Keep in mind:
There is some question as to whether staying open in these ways might hurt your chances for loans or grants later. We have no information on this but it is possible showing a complete loss of income may give you a better chance at loans and grants. Something to consider though most likely your store, like others, will have evident losses to document regardless.
Here's What you can do NOW
Email your senator: Here’s a template letter your store can send to the Senate urging immediate action and outlining the best policy. Find your senator’s contact information here.
Fill out this form: Join other retailers to tell your senators a “No” vote that needlessly delays passage of small business relief legislation is not okay.
Spread the word: Share the above-mentioned letters to the Senate with your customers and network. Ask for their help lobbying on behalf of your bookstore, small businesses, and the best interest of the local and national economy. Some sample social media captions:
Note: Some loans and grants may make you ineligible for others. For example, a disaster loan may make you ineligible for the proposed forgivable loans that are in the proposed senate relief legislation. Ask questions and check ABA’s Coronavirus Resources for Booksellers page for updates as we attempt to find out more.
STATE BY STATE RESOURCES
• COVID-19 Information for Small Business
• Illinois Department of Public Health Updates
• Emergency Small Business Grants and Loans Assistance
• Small Business COVID-19 Relief Program
• COVID-19 Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
• Coronavirus .illinois.govIndiana
• COVID-19 Resource Guide for Hoosiers Looking for Assistance
• COVID-19 Resources for Small Businesses
• Indiana Essential Businesses and Operations ListKentucky
• Team Kentucky COVID-19 Resource Page
• COVID-19 Resources for Employers
• Application Process Now Live for Michigan Small Business Relief Program Funding
• Resources for Michigan Businesses During COVID-19
• State of Michigan: Coronavirus - For Employers and Workers
• Supporting Your Small Business During COVID-19
• COVID-19 Main Street Resources
• West Michigan COVID-19 Business CoalitionOhio
• Ohio Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Business ResourcesWisconsin
• COVID-19 Business Resources
• COVID-19 for Businesses and Employers
• Small Business 20/20
• COVID-19 Business Resource Center
STATE AND LOCAL CONTACT INFORMATION
Locate your mayor
Locate your state legislators
Locate your city, county and town officials
Locate your state governor
Locate your state senator
Locate your state representative
• COVID-19 Resource List Spreadsheet
• CARES Act Summary
• State Specific Resources for Small Businesses
• Specific provisions of the CARES Act that booksellers should know
• Pandemic—But Don’t Panic
Addresses sick leave and other leaves of absence, work-from-home policies, health and safety, compensation, and discrimination.
• Update for Your Workplace
Looks at the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which creates the Family Medical Leave Expansion Act and Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act that goes into effect April 2.
• ABA Resource Page
• Immediate Steps to Take During the COVID-19 Outbreak
• Publisher, wholesaler, and vendor support
• ABA’s initiatives during the outbreak
• What We’re Hearing
• Opportunities for financial assistance
• Resources for retailers
• Resources specific to booksellers
• General information about the outbreak
• What can independent businesses do to prevent the spread of the coronavirus?
Stay up to date on tools, resources, and supports made necessary during this time. #WhileAtHome is a clearinghouse for credible information and action steps.
Some of you have already placed your account and/or specific POs on a shipping hold, but INGRAM wants to make sure you completely understand what this means, and what the options are. See the graphic below to find your INGRAM rep.
IF you have a hold placed on your account it will stop ALL orders shipping to your store.
IF you are still in need of having wholesale orders ship to your store for curbside pickup, or if you are processing and shipping your own phone and/or web orders, we cannot have your account on hold.
As things are changing daily for so many booksellers, INGRAM would like to have the most current circumstances for your store. If you have a minute, please send a note to your rep with the answer the following questions:
Well, the “new normal” is still a moving target. What we thought was a sprint and then a marathon is turning out to be an ultramarathon. Now is the time to look beyond the “one step in front of the other” strategy of the past couple of weeks, and to start looking at what it will take to cross the finish line:
The law provides employers with a refundable tax credit equal to 100 percent of qualified sick and family leave wages paid. Employers can claim the credit quarterly. And the CARES Act provides for advanced refunding of the payroll tax credits enacted in the Families First law. The credit for required paid sick leave and the credit for required paid family leave can be refunded in advance using forms and instructions the IRS will provide. ABA’s Advocacy team will provide updates as they become available.
For specific questions about how these changes may impact your store, contact your payroll or human resources company, your state’s Department of Labor, or reach out to ABA’s Advocacy team at email@example.com.
Most importantly, we’re all running as fast as we can right now but we need to stop for a moment and consider the other side of the finish line. We will get there. What we do now will ensure we’re ready when we cross, and the new normal finally begins.
ABA is here for you. Please reach out if there is anything we can help with. We are an incredibly creative, resilient, supportive industry. We’ll get through this, together.
Happy Friday, everyone. I’m keeping this update short and sweet today, just assigning some (recommended) homework for your weekend:
Something To Consider If Your Store Is Forced To Temporarily Close
In the event your physical bookstore is forced to close, consider using Ingram for fulfilling orders on your website. Sending orders directly to Ingram for fulfillment from your website is referred to as Customer Direct Fulfillment (CDF). Website orders sent to Ingram will be processed using ABA's Ingram account. Ingram will ship the orders to the customers on behalf of your store. Ingram will invoice ABA for those orders and we will adjust it against what the customer paid for that order. The reconciliation report on your website (Store -> Reports -> Money Management) will provide the details of the disbursement.
Not all orders will be eligible for Ingram fulfillment. The Wholesaler Fulfillment help document lists all the conditions that an order has to meet to be sent to Ingram.
Regarding wholesaler discounts, Ingram will provide the standard discounts - for example, 'REG' is 40%.
If you want to send to Ingram as many orders as possible from your website, which is referred to as Customer Direct Fulfillment, please follow these steps:
Addressing Customer Concerns About Their Purchase
Over the past week we’ve all received emails from online retailers and shipping services about the steps they are taking to keep online orders safe from viral contamination.
Customers who visit your website have these same concerns. You can address them by creating a text block on your website’s home page that describes the steps your store is taking to keep their purchase virus free. Talk about CDC guidelines you have implemented in your store such as cleaning and disinfecting frequently used surfaces, washing hands, wearing gloves, etc. Be sure to include this messaging in your email and newsletter correspondence with customers as well.
As Covid-19 spreads, your customers are going to become much more sensitive to how their online purchases are handled. Addressing those concerns now will improve your chances of customers returning to your website for future purchases.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to email us with any thoughts, questions, or suggestions.
The IndieCommerce team
Seems like some good news is in order...
The American Booksellers Association is very happy to announce a donation of $100,000 to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc). Binc’s ongoing support of bookstore employees facing hardship is especially important right now as booksellers and bookstores face financial challenges related to the COVID-19 crisis. ABA has heard from many member bookstores concerned about their booksellers’ welfare right now. We are happy to help Binc in their efforts to assist booksellers with medical expenses, quarantine-related expenses, lost wages, and personal household expenses during the crisis as well as bookstores that are unable to pay store rent and/or utility expenses due to store closures or restrictions related to the virus. For more information, please refer to the Binc website.
ABA is offering booksellers three months of membership dues relief or credit. Stores that pay quarterly will not be charged for next quarter; stores that pay monthly will not be charged for the next three months (March, April, and May); and stores that pay annually will automatically get 25 percent of their payment back (the refund process may take up to a week).
Additionally, IndieCommerce store revenue will be paid out more frequently during the crisis—once a week—in order to help stores with cash flow. (Please note that it will take a few days for money to appear in your account.)
Amazon has announced that it is deprioritizing book sales until at least April 5. This news, coupled with the increases stores were already experiencing in online sales, means ABA is prioritizing our support of bookstore e-commerce. IndieCommerce continues to set up IndieLite sites for free through May 31 for bookstores that don’t currently have e-commerce sites, and the team is working around the clock to ensure that existing e-commerce sites can keep up with increased volume. We are in ongoing communication with Ingram as they continue to work to support direct-to-home sales from store websites as well.
As a response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries. Facebook will begin taking applications in the upcoming weeks. Sign up to receive updates here.
Finally, some states have pushed back sales tax due dates due to COVID-19. For updated information, visit TaxJar’s Sales and Use Tax Filing Due Dates Affected by COVID-19 and your state government’s website.
All booksellers are invited to join an open forum to discuss their questions and concerns and share support and ideas about the COVID-19 outbreak with colleagues. The “COVID-19 Open Forum” meetings will be held via Zoom every weekday from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET through April 30. Join the Zoom calls here; the meeting ID is 749 778 583. ABA’s membership team will moderate the forum.
Tomorrow’s issue of BTW will be a COVID-19 dedicated issue, so there will be no separate COVID-19 update tomorrow. Watch for BTW or check the COVID-19 page on BookWeb for updates.
ABA is here to support you; please reach out if there is anything we can do to help. And I’m going to keep repeating this as our mantra right now: We are an incredibly creative, resilient, supportive industry. We’ll get through this, together.
ABA Resource Page
Immediate Steps to Take During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Publisher, wholesaler, and vendor support
ABA’s initiatives during the outbreak
What We’re Hearing
Opportunities for financial assistance
Resources for retailers
Resources specific to booksellers
General information about the outbreak
What can independent businesses do to prevent the spread of the coronavirus?
Support for IndieBookstores
Independent Bookstore Day Postponed
10 Ways To Support Your Indie Bookstore Through Coronavirus and Beyond from Josh Cook at Porter Square Books
How you can support bookstores during the coronavirus pandemic via LitHub
GLIBA Spring Forum Update