OPEI, EDA Urge States to Classify Outdoor Equipment Industry as Essential

Industry leaders urged National Governors Association to classify OPE manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and technicians as "essential"

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Together, on behalf of their members, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and the Equipment Dealers Association (EDA), urged the National Governors Association (NGA) to classify outdoor power equipment manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and service technicians essential during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The outdoor power equipment industry supplies equipment that powers first responders and the people on the front lines of this pandemic response. Portable generators, chainsaws, jaws of life, and other outdoor power equipment are necessary to help medical professionals, firefighters and firehouses, utility linemen, EMTs, and other health care professionals continue to do their jobs and keep Americans safe," says Kris Kiser, president of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute. "We urge the National Governor's Association to classify outdoor power equipment suppliers, distributors, retailers, and servicing technicians as essential during this pandemic, helping them help others get through this."

“As our country responds to the threat of COVID-19, we believe that outdoor power equipment manufacturers and their dealers play an integral role in supporting the economy,” said Kim Rominger, President & CEO of EDA. “Equipment dealerships are responsible for servicing outdoor power equipment that is used by commercial service companies and government entities in the maintenance of roads, parking lots, medians and other landscaped areas, many of which have already been named essential businesses and must remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, they have a duty to remain open and service their clients that are responsible for ensuring the safety and accessibility of these properties.”

In their appeal to the NGA, the two associations requested that “as governors consider further initiatives to contain the severity and duration of the spread of COVID-19, including potential Executive Orders, they ensure that businesses, homes, government, first responders and public utilities have access to the equipment, parts and maintenance services they need during this time of crisis.”