If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance that you’re a business owner in the indoor tanning industry. There’s also a good chance that you’re worried about the future of your business, especially considering how federal and state regulators have targeted our industry over the past decade. Just like you, I have spent many sleepless nights worrying about what else might happen and what our future might look like. Or, at least I used to.
For the past decade, I’ve worked closely with the American Suntanning Association (ASA) to help protect and promote our industry and secure our future. I have attended countless federal and state meetings with Melinda Norton, Joe Levy and Matt Russell along with ASA lobbyists, consultants, legal experts and other members. I can tell you firsthand how resourceful ASA’s team of experts are and how hard they work. I have sat through days of board meetings listening to the details of ASA’s efforts, the thousands of meetings they have attended on our behalf, and the tireless work they put into protecting what is ours. What I can’t tell you, or, what I can’t understand, is how so many in our industry are not supporting the only trade association for tanning salon owners.
I understand it’s hard to appreciate the work someone is doing on your behalf if you’re not there to experience the effort. So, let’s see if I can help with that.
There are many stories about what transpired more than a decade ago that put our industry in such a bad place. But here’s a small portion that I hope can put things into perspective. In December 2009, the Tan Tax was introduced as part of Obamacare in a backroom political swap for a 5% tax on cosmetic surgery. Obamacare was passed a few months later and the Tan Tax was the first tax to be enacted in 2010. At that time, the tanning industry had no representation in Washington, and as they say in D.C., “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” If today’s ASA team were positioned in Washington as they are today, there’s an excellent chance that the Tan Tax would not exist.
As business leaders, we will always be faced with difficulties like competition, employee issues, or the economy, and that’s more than enough to keep us awake at night. But, these are issues we understand how to deal with, or we hire someone who can. So, who are you hiring to deal with the biggest problems your business may be faced with? Are you going to wait until your business is hit with another government tax or mandate before you take action?
As president of JW North America, I take great pride in both supporting and working closely with the ASA. And, as part of my personal contribution to this industry effort, I want to encourage you to do the same. Becoming a member is one way to help support, but there are additional ways to contribute, including annual contributions to the ASA’s “Bottle Program” offered through participating distributors.
This is your chance to support those who are supporting our industry and our businesses. My recommendation is that you do exactly what I do for my company. I pay the ASA and their team of experts to make sure my business is protected from future attacks. And, yes, this definitely helps me sleep at night.
Founded in 2012, the American Suntanning Association is committed to defending and growing the industry through a detailed and proactive plan directed by an all-salon board and executed by more than two dozen management and consulting team members who specialize in this type of work.
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