The American Booksellers Association Addresses Coronavirus Concerns [6]

After taking into account the issues surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, the American Booksellers Association is moving forward with plans for ABA team members to attend the Spring Forums throughout the country in March and April (see the full Spring Forum schedule here [8]); in addition, Reed Exhibitions has confirmed that BookExpo [9] will proceed as planned, on May 27–29 in New York City, and ABA will hold the 8th annual Children’s Institute [10] in Tucson as planned, on June 22–24.

American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, and other airlines have announced changes to their typical fees [11] for customers who wish to reschedule flights, which can help booksellers who are looking to make travel plans but are worried about flight change or cancellation fees. Booksellers are encouraged to check with their airline to learn the specific details.

Booksellers who have concerns about how to address the issue from a retailer standpoint are encouraged to review the National Retail Federation’s “Coronavirus Resources for Retailers [12]” page, which includes an overview of a retail members-only call [13] where representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) addressed what retailers need to know about the coronavirus.

WhizBang Retail Training has created the “Retail Training Guide to Preparing Your Store for the Global Spread of Coronavirus [14],” which includes a special report and related video for retailers.

The CDC has also prepared a dedicated resource page [15] for those looking to learn more about coronavirus, including the most updated status of the outbreak, details about how it spreads and how to prevent it, and the latest news.

The Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation [16] could potentially offer booksellers support during the coronavirus outbreak. Binc, which assists booksellers facing financial hardship or emergencies, may be able to help booksellers in specific cases that create a financial hardship. Binc may be able to help with lost wages or store income in such situations as:

  • If a bookseller’s state, county, or city declares a public emergency due to coronavirus and residents are told not to go to work
  • If a household member contracts coronavirus and the employee is forced to quarantine themselves to prevent further spread
  • If a bookstore employee contracts coronavirus and cannot go to work
  • If a bookstore employee contracts coronavirus and the store is forced to close
  • If a bookstore loses business due to forced closure or restrictions on residents’ movement

Booksellers facing financial hardship for any reason are encouraged to contact Binc at (866) 733-9064 or help@bincfoundation.org [17].

ABA will continue to monitor the situation and offer updates to membership, both in terms of event plans and retailer resources, as they come about.