Big week for NPA this week, we’ll have a new board, per the bylaws so long as the accountants can make that happen in time, either way, thanks to the interim board. We will have an annual meeting for the first time in about 5-years, since Natural Marketplace was cancelled. While we won’t relive that history, the one question I get frequently is: that event sounds interesting, but there are lots of others, what’s different? To wit I respond, “this is an Association event, and any revenue raised from it goes to funding the Association’s activities.” Now before laughing at that, feel the hook in your cheek, because I know the next question. “Why should anyone care about the Association’s revenue to perform activities?” or “Why do I need an association?” While I can give multitudes of reasons why everyone in the industry should join NPA, I will back it up and just give six points in general to consider:
1) Advocacy, in this day and age where the government (state, federal, etc.) is going to find a way to tax you directly or indirectly, don’t you want a say in that? No taxation without representation is kind of a pillar of this country, so while we are involved in some direct tax issues, most of our time is spent fighting on behalf of the industry with regards to the increasing costs of compliance with ever expanding regulation, tort actions, etc. As an individual or singular business that stuff can make you feel pretty powerless, associations provide the opportunity to turn one small voice into a persuasive, collective shout;
2) Learning, you can get an edge over your competition by having access to exclusive experts, and receive training on important topics; 3) Networking, what you know matters, who you know matters too, and who you know that knows someone, never hurts;
4) Deals, our association has price breaks with all sorts of third-party providers, shipping, insurance, you name it, membership has its….I won’t say it;
5) Reputation, this one is simple, in general, are the companies in any industry who do the right things, members of trade associations or not? Of course they are members of trade associations. When one member opens themselves up to discussions and actions that put a company under the microscope, the companies willing to do such always seem to enhance their credibility as willing to step do the right thing. We all know about doing the right thing, it’s always the right thing; and
6) Individual Leadership, with increasing pressure in every aspect of business and an understanding of the limits of government to solve certain problems, where do solutions come from? They come from association members who are willing to step up and take initiative within the industry, allowing them to stand out. So I’m off the soap box now but would love to hear why you think being an association member is important.
Other items of note you may have already seen:
The United States intends to commence negotiations with Canada and Mexico regarding modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The NAFTA was negotiated more than 25 years ago, and, while our economy and U.S. businesses have changed considerably over that period, NAFTA has not. The United States seeks to support higher-paying jobs in the United States and to grow the U.S. economy by improving U.S. opportunities under NAFTA. Our specific objectives for this negotiation will comply with the specific objectives set forth by Congress in section 102 of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is seeking public comments on matters relevant to the modernization of NAFTA in order to inform development of U.S. negotiating positions.
The deadline for submitting comments is June 12, 2017. If interested in submitting comments please contact NPA at firstname.lastname@example.org
There will also be a public hearing on June 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. NPA plans to testify.