April 19, 2020
Let me introduce myself: My name is Kristen Williams and I am your new NPA Executive Director.
As I’m sure you can imagine, it’s an extraordinary time to step into this new role.
In the midst of the NPA Government Relations Committee’s work on the federal rate cap legislation in Washington, organizing the Annual Legislative Conference, opening registration for Pawn Expo 2020, and finding new opportunities to benefit our members, we were hit with the global COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic fallout. Like you, I am shocked by this crisis and the profound ways in which it has already begun to transform our society and the pawn industry. I hope that you, your family, and your employees are well and staying safe.
As anyone would be, I am daunted by the work ahead, but I am also encouraged and optimistic — because of you. Already, pawnbrokers across the country are demonstrating how they are an important lifeline to the communities that are hit hardest by this pandemic. You continue to show the world what pawnbrokers have always known…that you are here for people in times of need. Being a part of such a compassionate and powerful community as the NPA is exactly why I was drawn to this role in the first place.
So now that I’m here, working remotely with the NPA staff, you might ask: What’s next?
Well, first I think it is important to identify where we currently are in order to determine the direction we need to go next. What works? What needs improvement? What information can we share to help our small business owners run efficient and more profitable businesses? What programs and initiatives can we implement to benefit our members? I want to articulate tangible value in membership so affiliation with the NPA not only makes sense, but delivers a return on your investment. This is YOUR Association and I want every member to take PRIDE in being part of this reputable organization that supports pawnbrokers nationwide. Yes, there is a great deal of work to be done, and I find that to be an exciting part of this new venture.
I want to let you know that, as of right now, Pawn Expo 2020 is still on for June 23-25, but we are closely monitoring the current situation as it relates to the latest CDC recommendations, guidelines and ‘opening up the country’. Our event team will keep you informed of any program updates in the coming week(s).
With the help of your membership, NPA’s Team GRC is fighting for your rights as a pawnbroker, every day. We’re making all of the valuable information and results we’ve produced relating to COVID-19, essential business orders, SBA Disaster Loan Assistance, Payroll Protection Program, and other government relations statements available to the entire pawnbroking community, regardless of their membership status with the NPA.
As the world turns more and more to pawn shops for assistance, it is important that you remain vigilant about compliance, following regulations, and observing guidelines for social distancing presented by the authorities to ensure the safety of your customers, employees, and families.
Last, we need your help to spread the word about the important work the NPA performs on behalf of all pawnbrokers. We are only able to accomplish this because of your membership.
Within this crisis, we may have an incredible opportunity to engage new members. We can create an even stronger association that will fight to protect your industry, if we work together. Please share this email with your fellow pawnbrokers and encourage them to visit the NPA website and utilize the valuable resources there. The NPA needs your support now more than ever.
Let’s get to work,
National Pawnbrokers Association