Fashion industry groups highlight sector’s needs in new stimulus
Posted February 4, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Associations representing the fashion industry sent a letter to Congressional leaders on February 1 to highlight the industry’s needs as Congress debates additional stimulus measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Signed by the CEOs of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) , Accessories Council (AC), Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA),and the Travel Goods Association (TGA), the letter recommends measures that would support American businesses and American workers.
The group’s recommendations include:
A federal, short-term backstop to support trade credit insurance, which is primarily used by small businesses that rely on insurance to facilitate cash flow;
Limited legal liability protection to safeguard businesses from unfair lawsuits;
Return to workplace incentives;
Healthy Workplaces Tax Credit to support those businesses that have retrofitted facilities and purchased personal protective equipment to protect employees and customers;
Duty drawback for charitable donations to fix a problem in current law that disincentivizes donations of imported excess inventory.
“The fashion industry has played its part throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by repurposing supply chains to quickly fill our need for personal protective equipment, adjusting operations in line with health guidance, and creating safe spaces to shop for essential apparel and footwear needs across many seasons of this pandemic,” said Steve Lamar, president and CEO of the AAFA. “The stimulus measures delivered by Congress to date have been a lifeline for the economy however, as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc, more is needed to support American businesses and American workers. The provisions we recommend will directly help American business, employ more Americans, and support safe retail operations. With the finish line in sight, we must avoid tripping up at the final hurdle and do all we can to prevent further loss due to the pandemic.”
“The travel goods industry is facing the perfect storm as a result of the pandemic – our customers aren’t traveling, which has made the severe drop in sales caused by pandemic that much worse," said Michele Marini Pittenger, president and CEO of the TGA. "Our industry and our 100,000 American workers need help now.”
"The fashion and accessory industries are largely made up by small entrepreneurial companies, many owned by women and minorities. It is critical that we support these companies during this challenging time," added Karen Giberson, president of the AC.
The letter, as sent to Congressional leadership, can be downloaded here.