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Biz Talk: Saluting Arlington Business Associations

This article was written by Sindy Yeh, Senior Business Ambassador for Arlington Economic Development.

In the unprecedented time of COVID-19, people are recognizing the sacrifices and dedication of frontline workers in the healthcare industry, public safety and emergency management.

These essential workers are embraced worldwide as true heroes in the public battle to withstand the dangers of this virus and have been venerated for their tireless effort and service to the community.

Arlington is unique in having many business and trade associations whose members are deemed essential and are on the frontlines of the pandemic. These members are located throughout the entire country and even overseas. The associations serve their members by providing advocacy, education, professional development, resources and member best practices. They advocate for members at the federal, state and local levels, and oftentimes their recommended policies have national implications. Arlington salutes these organizations and their members for their service.

The supermarket industry has been one of the most critically important sectors during the pandemic. With thousands of restaurants being forced to close, grocery stores have remained open to ensure food and essentials are available to homes around the country. Grocery workers labor long hours to make certain that store shelves are stocked and facilities are sanitized; and these days, their job includes enforcing social distancing rules.

Two national associations headquartered in Arlington represent the food distribution industry. Ballston-based National Grocers Association represents independent, privately-owned stores; and the Food Marketing Institute, headquartered in Crystal City, includes members from grocery stores to producers who supply the food. Their members are part of the nation’s critical infrastructure during the pandemic, and without a doubt, they have risen to the occasion.

Another organization whose members are on the front lines of the pandemic is the American Trucking Associations (ATA). Headquartered in Ballston, ATA is the largest national trade association representing the trucking industry with more than 37,000 members and affiliates in all 50 states. ATA members continue to haul billions of tons of freight across the country, helping drive the nation’s economy.

Pharmacists throughout the country also play a pivotal role in this crisis. They are adapting to social distancing guidelines while still making sure that every patient has the medication he or she needs. Courthouse-based National Association of Chain Drug Stores represents traditional drug stores, supermarkets and mass merchants with pharmacies. Chains operate nearly 40,000 pharmacies across the country.

With the recent federal guidelines allowing pharmacists to order and administer tests for COVID-19, pharmacists are at the forefront in the fight against the pandemic.

One of the professions that most exemplifies dedication and sacrifice in the face of COVID-19 is the healthcare industry. People around the world applaud health care workers’ unparalleled bravery, compassion and commitment to their profession. In normal times, nurses provide medical advice and care for their patients.

Now, nurses have to suit up each day just to go to work, often times putting their own health in peril, in order to care for their patients. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners. AANP’s government affairs office operates out of Crystal City, advocating for policies and legislation that serve AANP’s 107,000 members nationwide.

We appreciate the work these and are many other associations are doing, and we are honored they chose Arlington to call home.

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