From the desk of the Executive Director
The year 2020 has certainly been a year to remember. I don’t think anyone will ever forget it and there are yet a lot of uncertainties yet to come as we continue to push through this pandemic that has crippled the country.
Our heartfelt thoughts and sympathies go out to all Americans, especially those that have lost loved ones or those that have become ill with this terrible virus. We wish them well as they work through the struggles of the virus and wish them all a full recovery. We also thank the tireless efforts of the healthcare workers and first responders around the world who have risked their lives to save others and have spent countless hours with those that have been stricken.
This time of year has changed for a lot of businesses on so many levels. It is important as we move forward to support all of our local businesses in any way that we can. They have worked tirelessly to keep their doors open to all customers in the safest way possible in order to get us what we need in our daily lives and to try to give us some type of normalcy during these difficult times. The businesses have been put in a very hard position and have done everything possible to keep their patrons safe. They are the cornerstone of our communities and when we can finally get back to some kind of normalcy, we want them to be here as strong as ever.
We don’t know what the next few months will look like, but it is still important for the industry to keep your staff trained and up to date with all laws. We have had to change our way in training people and will conduct our first virtual training session for TAM instructor certification this month. We hope this will be a great way for people to get all their training in the safest and best way possible during these unprecedented times.
As we approach the end of the year, the board and our lobbyist are already prepping for the upcoming 2021 legislative session. With the presidential election over and the change in party, there will no doubt be changes legislatively that will go along with that. Our lobbyist, Matt Krogman, works on your behalf all year round for those issues that may or may not affect the industry and your businesses. As always, it’s important for you to know your local legislators and to visit with them one-on-one whenever possible. There are several ways to contact your legislator during session either by email, phone call, attending your area cracker barrel sessions over the course of the 3 months. You can also email them through the SD legislator website by going to the list of legislators to get their contact information. Our office is always here to help as well if you are in need of our resource to contact them.
As the New Year draws near, we will be asking for your continued support and membership for the coming year. We realize the hardships that businesses have experienced this past year working through this crisis. As you are aware, membership is what makes us strong. What makes us strong helps us to fight for you and your business in the coming days so that you can continue to move forward in whatever lies ahead after this pandemic is over. It is more important than ever as we approach the coming year.
On behalf of the SD Licensed Beverage Dealers and Gaming Association, we would like to thank you all for your support over the past 60+ years and the dedication and hard work you have put into your businesses, your employees, and to your communities throughout the year.
You are all in our thoughts and prayers as we move forward in the months ahead.
Wishing you and your family a beautiful and safe holiday season, and a healthy and prosperous New Year!
Cathy Berg, Executive Director