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Doug Clark
California retailer’s customers show patience

When Hoot Judkins Furniture in Redwood City, Calif., closed earlier this week after a shelter-at-home order throughout the San Francisco Bay area, co-owner Bobby Watson worried about the 100 or so deliveries on his schedule. He wasn’t allowed to make them. He dutifully sent emails to all those customers explaining why they wouldn’t get their furniture in the foreseeable future. At a time when revenues suddenly were cut off, the idea of giving refunds was frightening. “We were afraid people would cancel,” Watson said. “But only one did. Many of those orders were paid in full.” His customers were almost

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News
Doug Clark
What is Washington doing to help?

Home Furnishings Association members are wrestling with difficult questions as the coronavirus crisis continues to threaten their livelihoods. Stay open or temporarily shut down? What happens if retailers simply stop paying their suppliers? To whom do we tell our stories to be heard? And what is our government doing to help us stay in business? Members asked those questions and more Wednesday in an HFA webinar with the association’s lobbyist in Washington, D.C. lobbyist, Chris Andresen. Here are some of the questions submitted by listeners and Andresen’s answers: Will there be a payroll tax cut? I would say no. The

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El Dorado Furniture
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Jesús Capó
HFA’s president: ‘Now more than ever we need each other’

These are extraordinary times in our nation’s history. The world is dealing with the coronavirus, an infinitesimally small player with an unprecedented amount of influence on the world economy. The virus, our bear market and a sudden drop in oil prices, have conspired to accomplish what neither September 11 nor the Great Recession could do. It’s created a nationwide de facto shutdown. Public events are canceled. Businesses are shortening their hours or temporarily closing — by choice or by order. It’s not a bleak dystopian movie, rather the reality of living in 2020. But, is it all doom and gloom?

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News
Doug Clark
Tidewater Finance helps make customers for life

Tidewater Finance Company follows a simple creed: “We believe in giving flexibility to our dealers to do what’s best for their customers and what keeps their customers happy,” said George H. White III, national sales manager. Tidewater is a secondary financing company that offers prime-financing features, such as 12 months of deferred interest, as much of $7,500 in credit, no application or start-up fees and in-depth analytics and reporting. Once Tidewater approves a customer’s application – instant approvals – it’s up to the retailer and the customer to work out the best terms for everyone. This flexibility makes Tidewater an

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News
Doug Clark
Out of confusion, a clear message in Pennsylvania: ‘We’ll ride it out’

Pennsylvania’s message wasn’t clear enough. “We strongly urge non-essential businesses across the commonwealth to do their part by temporarily closing as we work to flatten the curve and protect the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians,” the director of community and economic development said late Monday. Ronne Kurlancheek, owner of Kurlancheek Home Furnishings in Forty Fort, Pa., closed her store. Perry and Lora Sigesmund, owners of PerLora Furniture and Design in Pittsburgh, also shut down their three locations. John V Schultz Furniture and Mattress in Erie reduced store hours but remained open, although President Matt Schultz didn’t know how long

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News
Doug Clark
Tell Washington that businesses need cash-flow help

As furniture stores and other businesses begin to close their doors in some parts of the country, Congress and the administration are moving to help. Retailers should tell their representatives to include help with cash-flow disruptions. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act early on March 14, 363-40, just hours after President Trump tweeted his support for the measure. The House made technical corrections late Monday, so the measure moves on to the Senate for consideration. One of the key provisions requires businesses with fewer than 500 employees to provide workers with two weeks of

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