The federal government’s latest guidelines on what businesses are “critical infrastructure” now includes the sign, graphics and visual communications industry. Since states started enacting “shutdowns” across the country, ISA has been advising sign, graphics and visual communications companies that they could stay open and operational, to an extent, as long as they have stringent safety and health procedures in the workplace and provide services to “essential business” customers.
The 40+ states that have enacted “shutdowns” are basing their “essential business” or “critical infrastructure” decisions on those guidelines developed by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
For the last several weeks, ISA has been in regular contact with CISA, advocating that they include the sign and graphics industry as “critical infrastructure” because we enable so many “essential businesses” to operate. Signs and graphics help communicate vital information to the public during these uncertain and changing times.
That’s why we are pleased to report that as of Friday, April 18th, the latest version of the CISA guidelines includes key parts of the sign and graphics industry as “critical infrastructure.”
The new language is included under Transportation and Logistics:
“Manufacturers and distributors (to include service centers and related operations) of lighting and communication systems, specialized signage and structural systems, emergency response equipment and support materials, printers, printed materials, packaging materials, pallets, crates, containers, and other supplies needed to support manufacturing, packaging staging and distribution operations, and other critical infrastructure needs.”
While the latest CISA guidelines represent a very positive development for our industry, sign and graphics companies should not rush to conduct business as usual. A sign and graphics company must first:
- Confirm that it has a rigorous safety and health program in place to protect employees in the workplace;
- It must identify and document its “essential business” customers and “essential business” employees;
- Installers and servicers of signs will need to rely on previous language in CISA for construction or electricians.
ISA continues to work with CISA and allied groups like the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) to represent the sign, graphics and visual communications industry at the federal, state and local levels of government. For more information or any questions, please contact ISA’s David Hickey or Kenny Peskin.