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Policy Matters
Doug Clark
PPP changes sought by HFA will help borrowers

The U.S. Senate approved a House bill Wednesday night that adds needed flexibility to the Paycheck Protection Program. The action, by unanimous consent, happened only hours after Home Furnishings Association members urged Sen. Todd Young of Indiana and his colleagues to move quickly. “I will carry that message to those who have not internalized that perfection is not an option here,” Young told HFA’s Government Relations Action Team. The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act had some flaws, he said, but passage couldn’t wait. “Two million loans come due this week, so we’re got to get that done,” Young said. Young

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RC Willey Memorial Day ad
News
Robert Bell
Many HFA retailers report strong Memorial weekend sales

Furniture retailers historically use the Memorial Day weekend as a barometer for sales not just through the summer but for the rest of the year, too. Strong sales over the three-day weekend usually translate into a busy summer and fall, retailers say. So retailers are breathing a sigh of relief over the recent Memorial Day weekend. Many reported less traffic but strong sales. At Hacienda Furniture, Home Furnishings Association member Joaquin Rodriguez said Memorial Day traffic and sales were up in his Oxnard, Calif., store last week compared with the same weekend in 2019. Rodriguez attributed both to the fact

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News
Doug Clark
Howard Lorton Furniture and Design withstands turmoil

When demonstrations turned destructive in downtown Denver last week, Howard Lorton Furniture & Design stood in harm’s way. “We have been vandalized. We’re wounded but we’re still open,” the 93-year-old business reported on its website. Its Facebook messaging was equally positive. “While we have been vandalized, we will be open today,” it announced Saturday. “We will not let the actions of a few hold us back. We will, however, close early and be paying close attention to guidance from the Mayor’s office and Denver Police.” “The thing is, I’m not angry. I’m sad,” said Margot Cook, senior manager for business

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News
Doug Clark
Modern design pioneer Haimsohn dies at 91

Motion pictures have the Oscar. Broadway has the Tony. Advertising has the Addy. In the furniture world, the Eddie is a highly coveted prize. Officially, it’s the Edward Haimsohn Design Award. It recognizes excellence in aesthetics, creativity, functionality and other signs of beautifully crafted furniture. Its namesake co-founded the Contemporary Design Group, a collection of furniture retailers who share a passion for style and quality, which bestows the annual award. Haimsohn died May 24 in San Diego, the city where he was born nearly 92 years ago. His parents, Herman and Sadie Haimsohn, founded Modern Furniture Company in 1937. By

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News
Robert Bell
Retailers stress authenticity and safety in new furniture advertising

When his stores reopened earlier this month, Nebraska Furniture Mart CEO Irv Blumkin was stunned with the business they did. The pent-up demand from customers locked down in their homes and on their phones for most of spring is leading to a strong month of sales. “Not under my wildest dreams or any circumstances would I have anticipated the business being as good as it is,” said Blumkin. The key, he said, is keeping that momentum going through the summer through authentic advertising. In a Home Furnishings Association live COVID-19 Webinar, Blumkin and RC Willey President Jeff Child spoke with

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Policy Matters
Doug Clark
U.S. House strongly supports PPP flexibility

Furniture retailers would get more flexibility to spend Paycheck Protection Program funds and earn loan forgiveness under a bill passed 417-1 by the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday. A similar measure will be considered in the Senate next week. The Home Furnishings Association pushed for the changes in letters to congressional leaders and conversations with individual lawmakers. “We have to look at how we give discretion, flexibility to small business owners that received the funds because we are coming up on the loan forgiveness deadline, depending on when you qualified and when you got that money,” U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood

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