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HTSA Launches Package of Aid and Information to Assist Members

Buying group also suspends member dues for the first time.

Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA) has launched a series of special initiatives designed to provide multiple levels of assistance to consortium members. These initiatives represent a valuable mix of aid and information dissemination, helping members to safely navigate the rapidly contracting U.S. economy resulting from the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.

This pandemic event combines a dramatic economic deceleration with a large government launched economic stimulus package containing complex and confusing requirements. Developments evolved very rapidly, often accompanied with misinformation and conflicting information.

“In a matter of just a few short weeks, it seemed to many as though the situation was spinning out of control,” says Jon Robbins, executive director, HTSA. “But by analyzing the situation, drawing from our collective wisdom, and implementing new systems and processes, our members were better able to more effectively adapt to a fundamentally changed operating environment.”

HTSA’s Board of Directors and management immediately recognized this historic moment in time and convened a series of meetings to develop an action plan specifically for the purpose of helping members navigate the rapidly evolving situation. This new plan was necessary to address the all-new critical needs of its membership to receive solid, vetted information and advice. In addition to this, it was clear that members needed access to financial aid and program assistance to minimize the negative impact of the economic decline.

Based on their plan, HTSA management launched a series of aggressive actions designed to take control of a situation that seemed out of control — and to become the nexus of accurate information on necessary steps for members to take.

Five Steps Taken by HTSA Board & Management
As it became clear that the U.S. economy was rapidly decelerating, HTSA management took a series of steps to mitigate the impact on its members. These steps include the following items:

VENDOR ASSISTANCE — HTSA management reached out to the consortium vendors to discuss the gravity of the situation and to mutually come to an agreement on various types of relief that these valued vendors could — and did — make available to all HTSA members.

TOWN HALL MEETINGS — HTSA managers realized that early in the spread of COVID-19, there was an accompanying proliferation of confusion, misinformation, and fear. In order to address concerns, collect information on local impact, and jointly discuss a new path forward, management launched a series of online “Town Hall” style meetings where all members were able to share their concerns, thoughts, and suggestions. Those town hall meetings are continuing to be held to this day with multiple levels of dealer staff and management.

ONLINE INFORMATION CLEARINGHOUSE — HTSA launched a private group on popular social site Reddit for all HTSA members. The group uses this site to share properly vetted and carefully curated content on COVID-19, as well as important business matters in an organized and useful way. Also, members can freely interact and share ideas with each other on an ongoing basis.

EXPANDED ONLINE EDUCATION — Member training and education is one of the cornerstones of the organization. HTSA is in the process of porting even more of its educational resources — including previous face-to-face courses — to online-based training that can be taken by members and their employees in this new work-from-home environment.

MEMBER FEE SUSPENSION — As a sign that “We’re all in this together,” HTSA’s Board of Directors have announced that — for the first time in its history — it is suspending member fees for the second quarter. The goal is to help members better adjust to the dramatic financial impact on their cash flow of the economic slowdown resulting from this pandemic.

For more information,