President’s Message

Mar 12, 2020
Written by Renée Sunde, President & CEO

Like many of you, the Washington Retail Association has been closely following the developments around the novel coronavirus, with Washington State at the center of our focus. We care deeply about our members, employees, partners and our communities and take the evolving and global nature of the coronavirus very seriously.

A little less than two weeks ago, Gov. Inslee issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency in every county in the state. Live updates on the extent of the coronavirus outbreaks have been coming in daily waves as more patients become infected or expire.

Then came the Governor’s order this week limiting crowds in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties to no more than 250 people in hopes of slowing the spread of the illness. Retail establishments and businesses have been exempted thus far and are encouraged to continue providing for customers by remaining open for business, especially for essentials including food, supplies and medicine.

With so much information overtaking us, these have become confusing and maybe even overwhelming times. It has been challenging for retailers to know exactly how to react because of misinformation about the virus, the extent of the threat, and how to react intelligently.

Washington Retail is committed to assisting our members and the public at large by providing access to reliable and updated information about the status of the outbreak and how best to respond to protect their businesses, customers and families.

Please check out the COVID-19 Retailer Resource Guide we’ve added to our website. It will keep you at the forefront not only of statewide, national and worldwide updates, but includes a vast network of useful and perhaps necessary references in our state to help you and your employees handle all the challenges of running and working for a business during this crisis.

The uncertainty of how long this threat will last and how long it might take to discover a vaccine only add to the pressure we all feel. Regardless, I want you to know that Washington Retail is committed to providing you with all the useful and timely information we can find to gain confidence and courage in this trying time. Please rely on us for help and guidance on learning how to tackle the challenge ahead of us.