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Letters for Essential Businesses

Below please find two letter templates, one for your employees and one for your suppliers in case they are questioned in regards to whether or not they are involved with an essential business.  Feel free to alter in any way you choose,  this is just suggested copy.


To Whom It May Concern:
The bearer of this document is an employee of [company name].  The company is a printing and packaging company that supports and/or serves Essential Businesses.  As such [company name] conduct Essential Activities and is critical to the operations of Essential Businesses.  Pursuant to the Governor’s order of March 23, 2020, we are “needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors” and thus exempt from closure.
[Company Name] applies best practices in its effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.  As possible, employees are required to follow the latest guidelines for social distancing and personal hygiene.  Where possible, employees are working remotely.  Only those employees whose job requires tools, machinery, etc. are working onsite.  In some cases, an employee may be required to work on site temporarily such as to process payroll, administer cash receipts and cash disbursements which are consider Minimum Basic Operations required for the Company to continue operations in support of Essential Businesses.
If you have any questions, please contact:
Officer Name
Company Address
Telephone Number

To Whom It May Concern:
The bearer of this document (NAME OF SUPPLIER) is a supplier to [company name) and provides us with materials necessary to manufacture our crucial products. It is essential that we continue to receive these materials on a timely basis in order to fulfill our customer’s need in these critical times. Without the products provided by SUPPLIER, we will be hard pressed to meet the needs of our clients who are doing work that is necessary in the fight against COVID-19
We have been assured that [Company Name] applies best practices in its effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.  As possible, their employees are required to follow the latest guidelines for social distancing and personal hygiene. 
If you have any questions, please contact:
Officer Name
Company Address
Telephone Number

Virginia Response FAQ



When does this order go into effect? What areas of the state are covered?

The order is in effect from Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 11:59 PM until Thursday, April 23 at 11:59 PM. It applies to the entire Commonwealth of Virginia.

Will this order be changed?


            Governor Northam, in consultation with State Health Commissioner Oliver, may adjust this order or issue new orders as needed, given the quickly-changing public health situation.

Can I leave my house?

            Yes. However, Governor Northam is urging Virginians to limit all non-essential travel outside the home, if and when possible. If you choose to go to the park, for a walk, or exercise outside, please practice strict social distancing and keep six feet apart from others. All public and private gatherings of more than 10 people [PGAMA Note: Employment settings are not considered gatherings for purposes of Executive Order 53] are banned.


Are you limiting interstate travel:


            No. Our roads and highways will remain open to move essential personnel and critical supplies.

Are there restrictions for any other categories of business?

            All other categories of business [PGAMA NOTE: We believe Virginia printers fall in this classification for purposes of Executive Order 53] should utilize teleworking as much as possible. Where telework is not feasible, such businesses must adhere to social distancing recommendations, enhanced sanitizing practices on common surfaces, and other appropriate workplace guidance from state and federal authorities while in operation.

            The following sources provide workplace guidance for operations that remain open:

  • Virginia Department of Labor and Industry Guidance:


Do I still have to pay taxes?

            Yes. Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can also request to defer the payment of state sales tax due, March 20, 2020, for 30 days. When granted, businesses will be able to file no later than April 20, 2020 with a waiver of any penalties.

            The Virginia Department of Taxation has extended the due date of payment of Virginia individual and corporate income taxes. While filing deadlines remain the same, the due date for individual and corporate income tax will now be June 1, 2020. Please note that interest will still accrue, so taxpayers who are able to pay by the original deadlines should do so.

I have to lay off employees. Will I be penalized when they apply for unemployment benefits?


            Regional workforce teams have been activated to support employers that slow or cease operations. Employers who do slow or cease operations will not be financially penalized for an increase in workers requesting unemployment benefits.


Covid-19: The Maryland Response

COVID-19 – Maryland Response – PGAMA FAQ & Resources March 24th, 2020 _____________________________________________________________________

1. If someone is showing mild symptoms of illness and you’ve asked them not to work out of an abundance of caution, what benefits are available to help them maintain their income?

Federal Law: Emergency legislation, entitled H.R. 6201; entitled, Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law today (3.19.20). The new law provides paid sick leave, free coronavirus testing, expands food assistance and unemployment benefits, and requires employers to provide additional protections for health care workers.

• Emergency paid sick leave: Small businesses will be required to provide two (2) weeks of paid sick leave to an employee that: o Has a current diagnosis of COVID–19, or is under quarantine at the instruction of a health care provider, employer, or a local, State, or Federal official. o Is engaged in caregiving for an individual who has a current diagnosis of COVID–19 or is under quarantine. o Is engaged in caregiving, because of the COVID–19-related closing of a school or other care facility or care program, for a child or other individual unable to provide self-care. o This does not apply to businesses with over 500 people and small businesses with under 50 employees may avoid the requirements if they “would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern”. o These provisions would expire at the end of calendar year 2020. • Family medical leave: The bill expands the Family and Medical Leave Act to include leave needed to care for an employee’s child whose school or care provider is closed due to COVID-19. o This leave can be used by employees who have been employed by their current employer for at least 30 days. This applies to any private sector employers under 500 employees.

o The first 10 days of FMLA leave may be unpaid — beyond that time employers must compensate employees for the remainder of FMLA-leave taken (up to 10 work weeks) at 2/3 of their regular rate of pay. o FMLA paid leave is capped at $200 per day and $10,000 per employee total. • Tax credits for paid family and medical leave: The legislation has a refundable tax credit equal to 100% of paid family or medical leave wages paid by the small business each quarter. o The credit can be used against the employer’s social security taxes and applies to amounts paid to employees who are sick or quarantined. A smaller credit applies to amounts paid to employees caring for a family member or for a child whose school or place of care has been closed. o Individuals who are self-employed also qualify for refundable credits. The tax credits would offset not just the 6.2% Social Security portion of payroll taxes on affected wages, but also the separate 1.45% Medicare tax. Limits apply. • Emergency unemployment stabilization o Provides $1 billion for emergency grants to states for activities related to processing and paying unemployment insurance benefits. o $500 million will be used to provide immediate additional funding to all states for staffing, technology, systems, and other administrative costs, so long as they met basic requirements about ensuring access to earned benefits for eligible workers. Those requirements are: ▪ Require employers to provide notification of potential unemployment insurance eligibility to laid-off workers. ▪ Ensure that workers have at least two ways (for example, online and phone) to apply for benefits. ▪ Notify applicants when an application is received and being processed and if the application cannot be processed, provide information to the applicant about how to ensure successful processing. o $500 million will be reserved for emergency grants to states which experienced at least a 10% increase in unemployment. o States that experience an increase of 10% or more in their unemployment rate (over the previous year) and comply with all the beneficiary access provisions will qualify for 100% funding for Extended Benefits. o Extended benefits are triggered when unemployment is high in a state and provide up to an additional 26 weeks after regular unemployment insurance

benefits exhausted. This section also suspends the financial penalty for states that waive the usual one-week waiting period for benefits. Maryland Law: Governor Larry Hogan signed emergency legislation (HB1663) passed by state lawmakers during the final days of the 2020 Legislative Session. The legislation ensures protections and assistance for Marylanders affected by COVID-19. The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Protection Act allows the governor to prohibit cost-sharing by insurance carriers for COVID-19 testing, establish or waive telehealth protocols and require insurers to cover a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available. Other provisions of the law provide: • The Sec. of Labor may authorize employment benefits for employees, who need not leave the employ of their company, if: o (1) the business temporarily ceases operations, o (2) the individual is in temporary quarantine, or o (3) the individual leaves employment due to risk of exposure or to care for a family member. 2. If your business has remained open but you have people in a high-risk group that have decided to shelter at home to protect themselves or high risk loved ones, are there benefits available to help them maintain their income? See above.

3. What is the criteria for getting back to normal? We really don’t know the true number of people affected because so many experience mild to no symptoms and we’re only testing those we meet very specific criteria. I read an article that we’ve shut everything down without using data, so how do the authorities know when it’s safe to reopen?

The State of Maryland is using a combination of data gathered by the CDC and the Maryland Department of Health to determine public risks and safety. As indicated by the health experts and elected leaders, the numbers are projected to be at its peak this week. Due to the uncertainties, it is difficult for anyone to predict when it will be considered “safe” for nonessential businesses to re-open.

4. We’ve told our folks that they are considered essential and we plan to remain open, they’re asking for some type of letter they can show if they’re stopped by police on the way to work. (I told them he has not ordered shelter in place but they’re still concerned.)

At this time, Governor Hogan has not issued an Executive Order for statewide shelter. However, as expressed in today’s press conference (on 3.23.20) and his recent Executive

Order, all businesses that are considered “non-essential” to the COVID-19 response are mandated to close at 5 pm, Monday, March 23rd.

The Office of Legal Counsel issued a letter of interpretation for guidance listing sectors (and industries) that are considered “essential” and therefore remain open. The list does not fully list all these types of businesses and it’s advised to review the guidelines produced by the Department of Homeland Security.

For more information, visit: https://governor.maryland.gov/2020/03/23/governorhogan-announces-closure-of-all-non-essential-businesses-175-million-reliefpackage-for-workers-and-small-businesses-affected-by-covid-19/

5. Will there be any funding available to assist us with payroll?

Yes. The Secretaries of Commerce and Labor announced small business and labor relief efforts. Details can be found at https://businessexpress.maryland.gov/ Relief programs include grants, unemployment funding, and zero and low-interest small business loans.
o If you are a Maryland-based business impacted by the Coronavirus with under 50 full- and part-time employees, or a Maryland manufacturer, check out the programs below to see if you qualify for assistance.
▪ Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund - This $75 million loan fund (for for-profit businesses only) offers no interest or principal payments due for the first 12 months, then converts to a 36-month term loan of principal and interest payments, with an interest rate at 2% per annum.
▪ Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund - This $50 million grant program for businesses and non-profits offers grant amounts up to $10,000, not to exceed 3 months of demonstrated cash operating expenses for the first quarter of 2020.
Small Business Administration – Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program: The State of Maryland has received official designation from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for its Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, which provides low-interest federal disaster loans for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

o According to the SBA, the loans will help alleviate financial strain and allow businesses to: o pay bills, o payroll, and o accounts payable, with long-term payments stretching up to 30 years.

o The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support

to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. For more information, visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disasterassistance

6. We will be laying off some of our staff. What resources are available for us to assist our employees? Yes.

• Workforce Development and Adult Learning COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund: The State has launched the new COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, which is designed to support businesses undergoing economic stresses due to the pandemic by preventing or minimizing the duration of unemployment resulting from layoffs.

o The award (up to $50,000 per applicant), will be a quick deployable benefit and customizable to the specific needs of your business to minimize the need for layoffs.

o Labor is accepting grant applications from small businesses for awards from now through 30 days after the State of Emergency ends (subject to funding availability).

o The fund can provide: ▪ Strategies to reduce or eliminate the need for layoffs in the small business community. ▪ Training or professional development opportunities for employees to avoid layoffs; ▪ Paying for liability insurance for restaurants that convert to delivery while under emergency circumstances; ▪ Cover the costs of cleaning/sanitization services so that small businesses are able to keep employees at work on site, but only if a frequent deep cleaning to prevent exposure occurred; ▪ Supporting businesses that take advantage of the Unemployment Insurance Work Sharing Program by supplementing the employee’s income and benefits; ▪ Purchasing software or programs that an employee would need to use from home; and ▪ Purchasing remote access (ex. computers, printers, etc.) equipment to allow employees to work remotely from home versus being laid off.

o For more information, visit: http://www.labor.maryland.gov/employment/covidlafund.shtml

7. Would they benefit in just applying for unemployment benefits right away on their own?

An employee would have to file for unemployment benefits individually – no other person or entity are permitted to do it for them. In Maryland, unemployment benefits are made immediately upon employee filing an application. Employees laid off will be paid that same day.

8. Operating capital: Will there be any funding to assist us in paying leases or purchasing raw materials (paper, consumables, etc.)?

Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund: This COVID-19 Emergency Relief $75M Loan Fund offers working capital to assist Maryland for-profit small businesses disrupted operations due to COVID-19. Loan assistance is intended to provide interim relief complementing actions with its bank, business interruption insurance, and financial partners.

GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS o Loans up to $50,000 (not to exceed three months of cash operating expenses) open to Maryland businesses impacted by the COVID-19 with fewer than 50 employees. o 0% for the first 12 months, and 2% for the remaining 36 months. o Deferral of any payments for the first 12 months, and straight amortization beginning in the 13th month through the 36th month. o Business must be established prior to March 9, 2020 and in good standing. o Applicants must have employees on their payroll for whom they have had payroll taxes withheld (i.e. W-2 employees). o Two years of historical financial statements and most recent interim statement to benchmark revenue against (if available). o Six month pro forma of estimated lost revenue or other documented loss evidence. o Minimum personal credit score of 575. o No collateral requirements. o Eligible uses include: working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of operations.

The business must demonstrate financial stress or disrupted operations, which may include but are not limited to: o Notices from tenants closing operations and not paying rent caused by loss of income. o Notice of inability to pay rent or make loan payments due to reduced sales, suspended operations. o Increased cost related to COVID-19 prevention measures. o Notice of disrupted supply network leading to a shortage of critical inventory or materials. o Other circumstances subject to review on a case by case basis.

Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund: This COVID-19 Emergency Relief $50M Grant Fund offers working capital to assist Maryland small businesses and nonprofits with disrupted operations due to COVID-19. Grant assistance is

intended to provide interim relief complementing actions with its bank, business interruption insurance, and financial partners.

GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS o Grants up to $10,000 not to exceed 3 months of cash operating expenses for Maryland businesses and nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 with 50 or fewer employees. o Must be established prior to March 9, 2020. o Business must be in good standing. o Applicants must have employees on their payroll for whom they have had payroll taxes withheld (i.e. W-2 employees). o Annual Revenues of the business or nonprofit not to exceed $5 million as evidenced by Financial Statement or other financial documentation. o Business or nonprofit is expected to seek longer term funding through its bank, SBA, or other source. o Eligible uses include: working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of operations.

The business or nonprofit must demonstrate financial stress or disrupted operations, which may include but are not limited to:

o Notices from tenants closing operations and not paying rent caused by loss of income. o Notice of inability to make loan payments due to reduced sales, suspended operations. o Increased cost related to COVID-19 prevention measures. o Notice of disrupted supply network leading to shortage of critical inventory or materials. o Other circumstances subject to review on a case by case basis.

9. Trying to get an idea on terms and length of any potential funds (loans) available. – See above.

Your Financial Health During Covid-19

General comments are provided below (specific planning should be based on your company’s distress level, financial needs, resources and access to capital).

Q: Given the swift adverse effect on my business, should I borrow $$ from other sources (other than this forgivable loan) to keep my employees?

A: NO. The federal government will be providing forgivable loans (Paycheck Protection Program) totaling 2.5 months of your payroll costs, based on average monthly payroll costs for the 1-year period before the loan, times 2.5.

Payroll costs are defined as gross pay up to 100k per employee plus state and local payroll taxes, group health benefits and premiums.

Q: When will the federal government provide cash relief for my company?

A: It is expected to be several weeks after the Act is signed (3/27/20) before a same day application/cash transfer can take place.


Q: Will 100% of the loan be forgiven?

A: Possibly, as long as you retain the same level of (FTE) employees as before the CV crisis and not reduce salaries by more than 25% (excluding employees with salaries over 100k/year). If you have less (FTE) employees by June 30, 2020, or have cut pay by more than 25%, then the amount forgiven will be a pro-rata % of the loan (for example…if you receive a $1 mil loan and retain only 80% of employees, then 80%, or 800k will be forgiven).



-the amount of the loan to be forgiven is based on the lesser of, subsequent expenditures for payroll costs, interest, rent and utilities for 8 weeks after the loan date, or the loan amount.

-the calculation for change in # of (FTE) employees is based on a comparison of (FTE) employees for the period 2/15/19 through 6/30/19 or the period 1/1/20 through 2/29/20, then compared with the period 2/15/20 through 6/30/20 or 30 days after the CARES act is signed: 4/26/20 through 6/30/20 (which allows a benefit for rehires).

-  Repayment terms on the balance not forgiven, if any, are up to 10 years, maximum of 4% interest, no payment for 6 months to 1 year, no prepayment penalties, no collateral and no personal guarantees.

Q: How do I apply for this  federal government forgivable loan?

A: These are SBA funded loans to be administered and applied for through your bank. It is expected that the application and funding will occur on the same day, several weeks after the CARES act is signed by the President (3/27/20).

Q: Should I pursue loans and/or grants being offered by my state government or loans that currently are offered through the SBA?

A: Perhaps, but first assess the amount of federal government funding which may be forgiven then pursue other options if there are remaining needs. Most of the state and SBA “disaster funding loans”, at this time, are subject to normal lending criteria, fixed repayment terms, interest and personal guarantees if the loan is over 200k. There are state grants available, but at much smaller amounts.

Q: What should I be doing in the meantime before federal government $$ is available to my company?

A: Suggest downsizing as much as possible to meet your cash inflows while also gauging prospective sales. Also limit cash payments wherever possible to vendors and for all non-essential items.

Q: Should I furlough employees while awaiting the forgivable loans?

A: That’s a close call. It is helpful to know that the CARES Act provides for significant increases in unemployment benefits, so the pain to furloughed employees will be lessened and possibly eliminated. It also may be beneficial to rehire furloughed employees up to 30 days after the Act is signed (by 4/27/20)  to maximize the loan forgiveness.

Q: Are banks and other note holders offering any help with payments, if I ask?

A: Yes, most will provide 60 to 90 days of interest only and some are providing “forbearance” (no payment at all) for 60 to 90 days, though the interest will be added to the principal balance.

Q: How should I plan for the “other side of the curve” when activity is expected to pick back up?


Your goal is to maximize cash and credit now, in order to be able to fund working capital for inventory and labor when the business comes back.

Q: Any other helpful provisions in the CARES act for my business?

A: Yes

1)If your company is losing more than 50% of revenue or has to close because of the crisis, then special payroll tax reduction provisions and deferrals are available when you reopen.

2)Tax losses in 2018, 2019 or 2020 can now be carried back 5 years and without a limitation against income        

3)Building improvements can be expensed (fully depreciated in year incurred) and prior year tax returns can be amended

4)C-Corp estimated taxes for 2020 are deferred until 10/15/20

Q: How do I navigate the myriad of financing options, loan applications and planning considerations?

A: Feel free to contact us. We are here to help.

The government will be issuing further guidance, corrections and clarifications in the coming weeks and months,

so stay tuned for further updates.

FAQ: Coronavirus & HR

New laws addressing critical human resources issues have just been enacted in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This legislation is called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
The new laws include refundable tax credits for employers that are required to offer emergency FMLA or paid sick leave.
The new legislation in response to coronavirus—which applies to businesses with FEWER than 500 employees—requires:

• Twelve weeks of job protection under the revised Family and Medical Leave Act

• The leave applies when o An employee is unable to work or telework in order to care for a minor child if the child’s school or child care has closed or is unavailable due to a public health emergency

• The first 10 days of leave can be unpaid. o The employee can use PTO (vacation, sick, and/or personal). o Employers cannot require use of PTO for this leave.

• The remaining FMLA leave MUST be paid by the employer as follows: o Pay should be at 2/3 of the employee’s regular rate. o Number of hours paid should be those that the employee would be otherwise scheduled to work. o Pay can be capped at $200 per day. o Pay can be capped at $10,000 total.

• The employee has job protection to return to their position or an equivalent position after their leave expires or their need for leave is resolved.

• Exception to job protection for employers with fewer than 25 employees: o If the employee’s position has been eliminated due to operational changes resulting from a public health emergency, the employer does not have to provide a position for the employee at the end of their leave. 

For companies with fewer than 50 employees:

• If the required leave provisions of this new legislation will jeopardize the viability of the company’s business, the company can be excluded from the requirements of this Emergency FMLA legislation.

The new legislation in response to coronavirus—which applies to businesses with FEWER than 500 employees—requires:

• All full-time employees are entitled to 80 hours of paid sick time.

• All part-time employees are entitled to paid sick time hours equivalent to the typical number of hours they are scheduled to work in a two-week time period.

• This sick time may be used by employees in the following circumstances: o Subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID19 o Following the advice of a healthcare provider to self-quarantine because of COVID-19

PGAMA Staff Working Remotely

As of today, Monday, March 23, the PGAMA offices will be closed and the staff will be working remotely. We are still diligently working to provide PGAMA members up to date information and we are still available via phone and email to answer any questions you have. Do not hesitate to call. Stay safe and well. 410-313-0900

Upcoming Events

In light of the recent Coronavirus crisis, the following events have been rescheduled or postponed

Excellence in Print has been rescheduled for June 18, 2020

Disaster Recovery Workshop - April 2 - postponed

Mail Design Consultant Workshop - April 16 - postponed 

Digital File Preparation & Output Class - postponed



PGAMA is here to help.


In the last few weeks, we have been witness to an unprecedented health crisis that has created havoc throughout the world both as a health and economic challenge and the US has not been spared. The experts fear the worst is yet to come and we want to assure our friends and members that PGAMA is open for business and ready to assist in any way that we can.

While it may be necessary to cancel or postpone workshops, educational sessions and network events in the next few weeks, rest assured that continue to be available for technical, business, HR and government regulation issues both on a state and national level. Additionally, PGAMA has a vast nationwide network of companies with myriad capabilities to assist our members if, for any reason, your ability to manufacture is compromised.

As always, the network of benefits that are exclusive to PGAMA members remain and we are always ready to discuss how any or all of these programs can benefit your company

Most importantly, stay safe and all the best in these extraordinary times

The PGAMA Team


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The Kirwan Commission Update

The Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence is a multi-year initiative to research and develop major funding and policy reforms to improve the quality of Maryland’s public education system. However, the promised investment carries a huge price tag - $40 billion over the next 10 years (FY2030); equivalent to nearly $4 billion in annual mandated spending. State taxpayers will pick up an estimated $2.8 billion (70%) of the costs. The remaining balance will fall on the locals - Baltimore City and the counties (all 23) are responsible $1.2 billion (30%). But both Senate and House Leadership have publicly assured Marylanders that they will not incur new taxes or tax increases to fund this initiative…for now.


Kirwan Commission Update

Dell Joins PIA National Buying Program

Pittsburgh, PA–Printing Industries of America is pleased to announce that Dell, maker of laptops, workstations, monitors, servers, storage solutions and more, has joined its National Buying Program just in time for the holidays. PIA members can now save up to 40% off when using the Dell partnership program offered through PIA.
 “We are thrilled to partner with the Printing Industries of America to offer our technology products and solutions to its members. PIA members can now receive healthy discounts on Dell’s vast range of technology products, including our award winning world’s #1 monitor brand andPC Magazine’sEditors’ Choice award winner and the smallest 13-inch laptop on the market, the sleek and stylish XPS 13,” said Mobolaji Sokunbi, head of Strategic Partnerships and the Center for Entrepreneurship, North America Small Business with Dell. “We strongly believe that PIA and its diverse base of 6,000+ members will receive great value from this partnership and can in turn get more done in their daily lives by repurposing the savings earned through this partnership”.
 "Dell is a great addition to our Buying Program partners. Not only can business owners take advantage of these amazing savings, they can also pass along the value to their employees as an added benefit just in time for the holiday shopping season," said Michael Makin, President & CEO of Printing Industries of America. 
The PIA discount is accessible only to PIA members throughwww.printing.org/dell. Additionally, member savings can be applied to promotional pricing such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Back-to-School specials as well. For help in placing a small business order, please contact Sidney Duckworth at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 512.513.0231.

For RACG Members

On October 31st, 2019, the RACG FSC certificate will be transferred from NEPCon to a different certification body, SGS North America (SGSNA).
Though there is work required to switch certification bodies, we periodically review our certification contract to ensure that you get the best rate, with the least hassle, possible. After almost a decade with Rainforest Alliance, including making some tough decisions internally that were needed to keep your annual rate unchanging during that same decade, SGS North America was hands down the best option during this review cycle.
What does this mean for you?
The RACG FSC certificate code will change, from NC-COC-005576 toSGSNA-COC-005576. You will need to make this change in your systems and internal processes so that all outgoing invoices and shipping documentation reflect this new certificate code. We strongly recommend that you continue to use your current one or two digit sub-code at the end of the certificate code (those will not change).
The RACG FSC Trademark License Code (FSC®C103525) will not change; the FSC logos you use for your customer’s jobs and your own promotional uses remains the same. This also means that the FSC label generator will continue to use the same login.
Probably the biggest change is that we willno longer be able to use the Rainforest Alliance Certified Seal(green frog). If you are using the RAC Seal, you will need to remove this from all materials such as customer jobs, websites, and other promotional materials as soon as possible (or as you do new jobs) but no later than October 31.
The next big change to be aware of is that FSC trademark approvals will not be submitted through a trademark portal.On October 31styou will need to begin emailing your trademark submissions. SGSNA provides a 24-hour response time. Information for trademark submissions will be shared with you prior to October 31st.
After October 31st, 2019, we will be addingSFI Chain of Custody(CoC)certificationto the RACG group in addition to the FSC CoC certification.Our certificate will share a group SFI CoC code, the same as we do for FSC CoC certification. We will not receive the SFI CoC Code until after the transfer has been completed; be assured we will provide it as soon as we receive it.
Our documentation set is currently being revised to accommodate the new certifier information, as well as the SFI requirements.A separate email will be sent shortly to Primary FSC contacts for each member with a link to the updated documentation set.If you need to have additional contacts within your organization receive this transition email please let us know as soon as possible. The document set should be reviewed and completed at your earliest convenience.
The price for your RACG membership will not change.

PGAMA Acquires PrintED

PGAMA Acquires PrintED
On July 1, 2019,PGAMAformally acquired the nationalPrintED Accreditation Programfrom Graphic Arts Education & Research Foundation (GAERF).  Workforce development is one of the top challenges faced by the printing industry today and PrintED is one of the long-term solutions.  PGAMA has been a supporter and contributor to this program for many years.

PrintEDis a nationally recognized accreditation program based on industry standards and competencies that are appropriate for high schools and post-secondary schools offering graphic communications programs. PrintED accreditation ensures an instructional program for students that is current and relevant, consistent across the nation and aligned with industry standards.

Workforce development is one of the top challenges faced by the printing industry today. Employees are retiring at a faster pace, and companies are having more difficulty finding experienced employees. This difficulty is causing companies to look at alternative sources of employees.

PrintED graduates have an interest in the printing Industry, understand industry terms, are familiar with machinery and equipment, and production workflow. They are knowledgeable, trained, and are highly employable in Industry or continue with post-secondary education.

PGAMA is uniquely positioned to guide and expand the PrintED program using their longstanding model for successfully managing relationships between PrintED schools, State Departments of Education, and local industry partners. Support from state agencies is crucial to maintain funding for our industry education programs and to impact national policymaking for career readiness. These connections are essential in establishing and maintaining a reliable, effective, and consistent pipeline of new employees for the Graphic Communications Industry.

PGAMAis a non-profit trade association serving printing firms in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. whose mission is to help members meet their business goals through advocacy, education, and communication.   The printing & publishing industry employees over 30,000 people in our region and ranks among the top in terms of manufacturing establishments, economic impact and number of employees.

For more information about PGAMA, contact President Jay Goldscher at 877-310-0906 /This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or visit the PGAMA website:www.pgama.com.

Wage & Benefit Survey 2019

Participating in the 2019 Wage + Benefits Survey will help you gain invaluable insights to stay competitive in your local labor marketplace. Receive a complimentary copy {$250 Value} for your participation. The report includes both regional and national survey and will be available in the Fall of 2019.

Surveys are due July 31, 2019

You have your choice on how you would like to input the data:

  1. Complete it online at www.printindustries.org
  2. Download the .pdf of the form and you can mail or fax the finished survey to 9160 Red Branch Road, Suite E-9, Columbia, MD 21045 or fax 410-319-0905

If you select to enter the data online this year, you won't have to reenter the data next year.  The survey has been changed to allow you to update data from one year to the next.  This will make the survey quicker and easier to use going forward.  For a list of the Job Descriptions that complement the survey, click here.


2019 Wage & Benefit

W&B Job Descriptions


Instructions for completing the questionnaire online:

If you choose to go online to fill out the questionnaire, you will need to set up your account. When asked to select an affiliate, you should select Printing and Graphics Association Mid Atlantic, PGAMA

There is a HELP? Button in the top right. Your questions will be directed to Teresa Campbell at PIMW. She will address those questions that are technical to the site

Once you register, you will have access to the survey. There is a job descriptions button on the first page should you need it.

To get started with the online survey, go to www.printindustries.org – you will see the button that says GET STARTED, click that button.

  • Once you click on that button, you will need to scroll down to the section that says REGISTER
  • You will need to REGISTER first before you can participate.
  • You will select your affiliate Printing and Graphic Association Mid Atlantic
  • And enter the password – pgama
  • Once you do this, you’ll set up your company and select a new password.
  • You will need to click on the I’m not a robot button
  • Last hit REGISTER

Your survey responses are saved automatically every five minutes in case you disconnect or log out without saving. If you cannot complete the questionnaire, you can save for completion later by clicking the Blue SAVE AND FINISH LATER button.

The survey can be PAGED through using the BLUE > and < buttons OR shown all at once in a long scrolling page by clicking the Blue SHOW ALL PAGES button.

Once you SUBMIT, you will unable to retrieve and change any responses.  If you attempt to return to the Take the Survey page again, you will see a gray box notification that says: Your survey responses were submitted DATE SUBMITTED. If you have questions or concerns regarding your survey responses, please contact us.

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