Cigar News: PCA Announces Changes in Response to COVID-19

The Premium Cigar Association (PCA) announced yesterday, temporary changes to its staffing and programs as a result of the enduring effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic hardships.

In the press release they stated that as of July 15, the PCA staff will be furloughed, with benefits, as the board and executive committee work through the financial challenges the association is currently facing.

John Anderson, president of the PCA board issued the following statement addressing the changes.

As we have all worked tirelessly over the past several months to keep our businesses alive, the PCA Board has also been confronting the challenges facing the association due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past few
months, The PCA board has struggled with several very difficult decisions over that time and the staff have done a tremendous job working very hard to keep the organization operating close to full capacity. Therefore, it is
with a heavy heart that we reach out today to let you know that we have decided to furlough the PCA staff temporarily while we work on some key items.

I want to stress that this is only temporary, and we fully intend on bringing the full staff back as soon as we are able. This is just to give us some time to get financially settled in order for us to move forward.

The PCA held a media briefing yesterday, that I was not able to attend, due to work commitments, but my fellow media collegue Cigar Coop attended and in his reporting he noted:

Pearce said the organization was not eligible for relief funds from the PPP. As for operations, Pearce said the Board of Directors is expected to expand its volunteer role during the furlough. There is no timetable for when the furlough is scheduled to end.

The PCA is still planning to hold the 2021 Annual Convention and Trade Show scheduled for July 9 –13, 2021 at the Sands Venetian Resort in Las Vegas. They are working with manufacturing partners and other stakeholders to ensure a safe and successful 2021 trade show.

John Anderson added:

“On behalf of the entire PCA board I want to express my deepest appreciation for the hard work the staff devote to our industry on a daily basis. We look forward to the near future when we can have them all back to continue their good work.”

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About the PCA

Founded in 1933, the Premium Cigar Association (PCA), formally the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR), is the oldest, largest and most active trade association representing and assisting retailers, manufacturers and suppliers of premium tobacco products. It is a is a not-for-profit trade association and is recognized as the “Voice of Authority and Reason” on premium tobacco related issues.