An important message about COVID-19 and ACCT
Not many people today can remember a global emergency situation as impactful as this one. Industries worldwide are working non-stop to adapt to the new reality. That includes the challenge course industry.
Here’s what ACCT is doing for our Members:
- In recognition of the loss of revenues and financial hardship almost all of our Members are facing, we’re extending all current memberships by three months. That’s ALL membership types, no questions asked. Thus, if your membership was set to expire on April 1 for example, it will remain current until July 1.
- ACCT is providing Members with guidance on considerations regarding operations during this crisis. We’re adding additional resources – including a special section on the ACCT website (acctinfo.org/coronavirus)
- Even before the current situation, ACCT was working hard on a new health insurance option for Member organizations, in order to help them provide health coverage for employees. It’s nearly ready to launch, and we expect to do so sometime in the next two weeks.
- We’re adding a new forum to the website so that Members can discuss and exchange ideas on management aspects during this difficult time (https://www.acctinfo.org/forums)
- We’re considering conducting online webinars with experts from inside and outside the industry, offering guidance on steps moving forward.
- We’re evaluating other ways to help Members at this time and we want to hear from you so please reach out to us with your suggestions!
We know that our Members are facing unprecedented challenges right now. Rest assured that ACCT stands ready to help in any way that we can.
Inspection schedules disrupted?
Here in the U.S., we’ve learned that some state regulatory agencies have temporarily suspended routine inspections of challenge course apparatus.
If you operate in an area in which government inspections are required, we suggest you do the following:
- Check the ACCT REG Map blog for updates on states. ACCT will continue to send updates to members in a state when we learn of changes by regulators (http://acctregmap.org)
- Contact the regulatory agency and inquire as to whether any grace period will be added between required inspection dates. Also, ask if, in lieu of state inspection, a third-party inspection by a qualified individual or organization is acceptable.
- If so, contact your insurance carrier to discuss this. They may be able to provide contact information for independents who can meet state requirements. ACCT may be able to help direct you to certified independent inspectors, too.
- Intensify your focus on in-house inspections. Document EVERYTHING; if anything appears even slightly amiss, we recommend taking that apparatus or piece of equipment out of service. Keep the item out of service until a professional or third-party inspector can determine what if any repairs are required.
- ACCT will continue to publish and forward to members the most up to date information from suppliers on cleaning equipment.
Speaking of government…
As you’re probably aware, Congress is still debating a massive federal economic relief bill that is intended to help businesses both small and large manage the emergency. As of this writing, the details aren’t yet clear – but the options that are available to ACCT members should be understandable shortly. We’ll update you when we understand what options are available to Members.
In the meantime, it might be worth contacting the local office of your U.S. Representative to learn how or if your organization is eligible for some support. The Small Business Administration may also be able to help with loans; information can be found here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Declarations/Index
Don’t forget insurance:
We recommend that you have a discussion with your insurance carrier (most are already providing guidance to clients). Few organizations in our membership base carry business interruption coverage, and even if you do, most such policies specifically exclude infectious disease.
However, most policies are also written at least partly based upon projections of how much business – and thus exposure – a given organization expects. We expect that COVID-19 will have a significant impact on most of our Members, so you may be able to negotiate a rate reduction. It certainly doesn’t hurt to ask!
And while you’ve got them on the phone, ask for guidance on your exposure once things ease up a bit. Optimistically, we’re at least one year away from a vaccine, and though government, universities and biotech and pharmaceutical companies are working round-the-clock to develop and test effective treatments, it may be a while before we have those, too. This means that the risk of transmission may start going down, but won’t go away entirely for quite a while. We suggest talking with your carrier regarding your exposure in operating under these circumstances.