The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on the entire grocery industry. It affected the lives of millions of state residents and the grocery community stepped up to ensure that its associates and customers were safe during this crisis. Grocers saw a “new normal” of intermittent out-of-stocks and sporadic customer surges. Despite enormous logistical challenges, our state’s grocery community has worked around the clock to supply food to Alabama families while at the same time implementing new policies of social distancing and safety features for the protection of employees and customers. Grocers have served as the blueprint for the entire state on how to move forward, get back to work and support our state’s economy.
Throughout this ever-changing landscape, each of our companies has leaned heavily on the resources provided by the Alabama Grocers Association. The AGA was on the front line working with state and local agencies and municipalities to work out the complexities of state and local ordinances. In addition, our Association was in constant communication with Governor’s Ivey’s office as well as State Health Officer Scott Harris to ensure that as regulations were occurring, they would not have a negative impact on the grocery industry. In fact, the AGA worked directly with numerous state agencies including the Alabama Department of Public Health, Alabama Department of Agriculture, Alabama WIC, Alabama ABC Board, ALEA, Alabama Attorney General’s Office, ABC Board, Alabama Department of Revenue, Alabama Department of Transportation, Alabama Department of Human Resources and many others. AGA was on the front line of pandemic response to the media doing constant media interviews addressing concerns of pricing and shortages. Our audience numbers reached during the pandemic were over 3 million including a Shop Safe Campaign. The Association sent over 100 emails and alerts during March and April alone and held weekly calls for our members.
Your Association worked hand in hand with national organizations to make sure our members received the most up to date information to keep your businesses running with the most recent guidelines from OSHA, FDA, the CDC and many other organizations. Hosted weekly calls from March through May to answer additional questions from members and made ourselves available to members wherever needed to obtain guidance or help field media questions.
It was vital to our Association that the 2020 Convention be held this year. We were happy that after many discussions we were able to safely hold our first ever Hybrid Event! Thank you to everyone that participated in the convention either virtually or in person and to all the sponsors and advertisers that continued their support of our efforts.