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NPA asks that health food stores be called 'essential businesses'

Article-NPA asks that health food stores be called 'essential businesses'

Natural Products Association logo

The Natural Products Association (NPA) today asked governors of all 50 U.S. states to deem health food stores selling nutritional supplements “essential businesses” and to allow small businesses to request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance. Health food stores offer a wide range of essential products, including, water, electrolytes, nutritional supplements, healthy food options and other health-related products such as hand sanitizer.

NPA’s letter can be viewed here.

“Many of the men and women who make up the natural products industry are the neighborhood small businesses that are vital to all local economies,” said Daniel Fabricant, NPA's president and CEO. “Natural products retailers are essential to the health of local economies and millions of Americans across the country. It is critical for these small businesses to stay open and receive the assistance necessary to make it through this public health crisis. To date only four states (Maine, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin) have made the request to SBA for the bridge funding. Small businesses, the lifeblood of any industry, need that funding made available nationwide.” 

NPA is also educating lawmakers through its grassroots network, briefing reporters, and providing resources for the industry, including through a new website that will become a clearinghouse of information related to COVID-19. 

“The situation is changing rapidly, and we are here to help the industry and the millions of consumers who rely on natural products,” said Fabricant.

In recent days, states and territories have begun to order the closure of most businesses for an indefinite period except for supermarkets, pharmacies, restaurants offering carryout or delivery, medical equipment stores, gas stations and banks. NPA recently launched a grassroots campaign urging lawmakers to keep health food stores open as state, local, and national governments respond to COVID-19. 

“It is imperative that essential businesses such as health food stores that provide nutritional supplements and other health and wellness products remain open for business,” Fabricant said. “Local businesses are an essential resource for Americans in times like these, especially people at risk, who need access to neighborhood stores. Communities need these stores open and we are asking lawmakers to lift any order as it relates to health food stores.”

NPA’s grassroots campaign can be viewed here.

In a letter to the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission NPA urged the Agencies to take action against companies selling nutritional supplements claiming to “treat or prevent infection by the coronavirus.”

“If a product sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. There is no such thing as a magic pill and consumers should steer clear of any product being marketed as a nutritional supplement that says it will prevent, treat, or cure coronavirus or any other illness,” Fabricant added.

Source: Natural Products Association

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