Binc Prepares for COVID-19 Assistance to Booksellers and Comic Retailers

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The Book Industry Charitable Foundation is experiencing the highest number of requests for financial assistance in the history of the organization, as many as several booksellers per hour. To that end, the American Booksellers Association announced yesterday that it would donate $100,000 to Binc.

Additionally, Literary Agent Steven Malk of Writers House and Beacon Press have offered a matching gift challenge — matching all gifts dollar for dollar up to $12,500. In less than 24 hours supporters donated $44,000.

Authors Garth Stein, Tui Sutherland, and Amor Towles have further combined their gifts and will match donations dollar for dollar up to a total of $41,000.

Binc will continue to help booksellers according to its policy for public health emergencies. Assistance may be available for the medical expenses of booksellers and to help booksellers in specific cases where store closure and/or loss of scheduled pay leads to the inability to pay essential household bills for an individual or family. Booksellers can make a request via Binc’s new expedited COVID-19 form.

Depending on each bookseller’s circumstance, Binc may be able to help with medical expenses or personal household expenses under the following circumstances:

  • If a bookstore employee contracts an illness and cannot go to work. 
  • If a member of a bookseller’s household contracts an illness and the employee is forced to quarantine themselves to prevent further spread of the virus.
  • If a bookseller loses more than 50% of their scheduled work hours because residents are told not to go to work.*
  • If a bookseller loses more than 50% of their scheduled work hours due to a mandatory quarantine.*

*An official state, county, or city public health emergency restricting public interaction must be declared.

Booksellers can contact Binc by email at [email protected] or phone (866) 733-9064, but booksellers with COVID-related requests should fill out the designated form.

Binc Executive Director Pam French also urged booksellers with needs unrelated to COVID-19 to continue to reach out to Binc for help. “We do not want those with needs unrelated to the virus to refrain from requesting help,” said French. “Whatever the cause of someone’s hardship may be, it is still a financial emergency for that household. Binc is ready. Binc is supported by a community of book people and reinforces the power of many coming together.”

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