SPECIAL UPDATE: COVID 19 - A Message from Joseph N. Mariano and Adolfo Franco

Dear DSA Members:

We hope you are well and enduring the COVID-19 pandemic with the same fortitude and determination that you demonstrated in the past when facing other challenges.

As was explained during the March 24, 2020, virtual meeting of the DSA Board of Directors, the Association is redoubling its efforts and refocusing its activities to provide as much support as possible to our members during this crisis.

The Association has been working on issues that have or will impact direct sellers, and working to ensure that timely information is provided to the entire membership through a series of weekly webinars on subjects of special interest in addition to keeping our board and committees informed on ongoing initiatives.

To that end, we wanted to provide you with an overview of ongoing Association activities.

The DSA Government Affairs team has been engaging and monitoring developments on Capitol Hill relating to economic relief packages and state orders impacting business operations, including manufacturing.

DSA is constantly updating a specially created COVID-19 Advocacy page on DSA.org with the most up to date information.  This page also lists information on the availability of loans that are being made available for small businesses and independent contractors.  The team will continue to report on these developments, and we will also continue to engage in forthcoming federal legislation to benefit direct sellers.

In addition to these legislative initiatives related to the COVID-19 pandemic, DSA's advocacy work on federal and state regulatory issues affecting independent contractors and our business model continues unabated.

There are problematic legislative proposals in numerous states, including MarylandMissouriNew Mexico, and New Jersey, that DSA staff is addressing along with members of the Government Relations Committee.

Moreover, DSA recently issued a memorandum analyzing an independent paper authored and published by the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Economics staff that describes in detail a theory that zealous recruitment induces misleading participants about earnings potential and is thus pyramidal.

Although not an official Commission document, the paper mirrors recent statements by Federal Trade Commission staff and demonstrates a clear misunderstanding of multi-level compensation and the direct selling business model. We plan to prepare expert analysis on the flaws of this paper and address these concerns directly with the Federal Trade Commission and other policymakers.

DSA has also engaged with the Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) to ensure the issuance of internal and external communications and guidance as broadly as possible regarding product and health claims relating to COVID-19. These communications have been sent jointly by the DSSRC and DSA to reiterate the prohibition on making unsubstantiated product and health claims that portend to cure, treat, or mitigate COVID infections.

DSA ENGAGE 2020 annual meeting has been postponed until 2021.  The DSA Education and Meetings team is working to provide the most relevant content, every week.

The DSA ENGAGE Webinar Series is currently underway to provide DSA members with the insights and resources to help navigate these uncertain times:

On April 2, 2020, DSA kicked-off the DSA Leadership Sharing Sessions Webinar Series with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Webinar.   This webinar focused on the recently passed federal stimulus package that provided information on how this Act might be of assistance to direct selling companies as well as our independent sales force.

CEOs are also being invited to participate in a CEO to CEO Virtual Gathering on Thursday, April 23rd at 1:00 P.M. EDT.

Beyond education, DSA is working to create the DSA #ShopTheChannel Member's Directory and #Community Buyers Guide for all direct selling member companies and suppliers.  We believe such a tool will be useful for our supplier community to remain connected with the membership. Also, we are working to connect our 100 annual meeting exhibitors with DSA member companies in need of their important services.

DSA industry research has ramped up the amount and frequency of data collection and reporting to provide insights into the impact that coronavirus is having on the industry, best practices/successful strategies, benchmarking data, and scenario planning/forecasting.

In particular, DSA is conducting short, Weekly Coronavirus QuickPulse Surveys, bi-monthly in-depth coronavirus surveys, the quarterly DataTracker KPI-Tracking Survey, and the DSA Growth & Outlook Market Sizing Survey.

Frequent reporting during weekly installations of the DSA ENGAGE Webinar Series has been provided.  This information is synthesized to provide actionable data and insights on how to cope with the impact of the coronavirus.

DSA has also developed a communications message focusing on #Community is #StrongerTogether, as well as #ShopDirect to highlight the connectivity during these unprecedented times. Regular member communications, including our DSA Digest and committee and council teleconferences, continue to be issued to keep the membership informed on the latest industry developments and Association activities.

During times like these, those connections are more important than ever.  Please reach out to any member of the DSA or DSEF teams with your ideas, thoughts and questions. We look forward to hearing from you; as a #community we are #strongertogether.


Best Regards,

Joe and Adolfo