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.
Many members have asked how they can help support the Association. As many of you know the Convention is our largest fundraiser for our Association raising over half of our annual income. After many discussions with the AGA Board of Directors, our speakers, and Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, we are confident AGA can hold the annual conference in a socially distance responsible way at Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort on July 27 & 28th. It will look different, there will be changes to this event to allow for more social distancing, following CDC guidelines and doing everything we can to keep those that decide to attend safe. We will be limiting in-person attendance this year to 250 attendees and it will be on a first come first serve basis. If you cannot join us in person, there will be a virtual aspect and you will be able to still enjoy many of the same features from the safety of your home.
Sponsors will receive tons of recognition, advertisers will receive their ads in the convention annuals, and we are confident everyone will enjoy the 2020 Annual Event, not matter how you chose to join us. The following packet will contain information for the different types of registration, the sponsorship information, hotel information and all the details for our upcoming event. If you can not attend but still want to support the Association, you can make a one-time donation to the Association.
Thank you to all our members for your unwavering support!
We have created some documents to help answer your questions, get you signed up for the AGA Convention and decide how best you can join us in July in celebrating our 30th Anniversary! We encourage you to please click on the Convention FAQ’s and hopefully this will answer most of your questions about the 2020 Convention!