COVID-19: To help our premium cigar and pipe tobacco retailers, manufacturers and industry partners, the PCA will continue to update this page with resources, news, alerts and more surrounding COVID-19. We encourage you to check back often (and bookmark this page), as information is rapidly changing and being updated.
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COVID-19 | PCA News & Alerts
Nationwide List of Premium Tobacco Retail Options during COVID-19PCA | March 23, 2020
With the rapid spread of COVID-19 and social distancing, some premium tobacco stores and lounges have been forced to close […]read more >
March 20 COVID-19 Advocacy Update: Taxes & SBA Disaster LoansPCA | March 20, 2020
Negotiations on Stage III of the relief measures continue to be discussed in Congress and with the White House. Outside […]read more >
COVID-19 | Support Your Local Tobacconist
COVID-19 has put premium tobacco stores and lounges—and our entire economy—in peril. You can help! Premiumcigars.org has created a database to help you find premium tobacconists offering alternative purchasing options like to-go sales or curbside pickup, online gift cards and merchandise, and more! View the list to find a local retailer near you now and check back often for more options as they become available. RETAILERS: To be included, please complete the COVID-19 Tobacco Business Sales Support Form.
COVID-19 | List of Resources
|Resource||topic & link|
|US Small Business Administration (SBA)||Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources|
|National Governors Association (NGA)||Coronavirus: What You Need To Know|
|FiscalNote||Coronavirus Updates & Resource Center|
|Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)||Coronavirus (COVID-19)|
|World Health Organization (WHO)||Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak|
|American Enterprise Institute (AEI) – State Tracker||COVID-19 Action Tracker|
|Career OneStop – Unemployment Benefits||Unemployment Benefits Finder|
|Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies||Federal and State COVID-19 Business Relief Resources|
|US Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship||Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act|
|CARES Act FAQ||Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act: Question and Answers|
COVID-19 | State & Local Government Reports (Daily)
|Topic||Date & link|
|US Daily Report on State & Local Governments||March 26, 2020|
|US Daily Report on State & Local Governments||March 25, 2020|
|Federal and State COVID-19 Business Relief Resources||March 25, 2020|
|US Daily Report on State & Local Governments||March 24, 2020|
|US Daily Report on State & Local Governments||March 23, 2020|
|US Daily Report on State & Local Governments||March 20, 2020|
|US Daily Report on State & Local Governments||March 19, 2020|
COVID-19 | States & Territories Resources for Retailers
As COVID-19 continues to evolve at a rapid pace, some information may already be outdated. We will continue to update this page regularly, but encourage you to visit the website of your particular state government for the most up-to-date local information. While we are monitoring and updating each state and territory below during this time, we encourage you to refer to the List of Resources above, as information is ever-changing.
- Stay home except for essential needs (list of essential workers & Q&A) — March 21
- Department of Public Health COVID-19 News Releases — updated daily
- Governor Newsom Signs Emergency Legislation to Fight COVID-19 — March 17
- California Issues Directive to Fight COVID-19 — March 16
- Los Angeles issues order to prohibit group events and gatherings, require social distancing measures and the closure of certain businesses – March 16
- Updated California Health Guidance: Seniors and COVID-19 vulnerable residents directed to home isolate – March 16
- Seven Bay Area jurisdictions order residents to stay home – March 16
- Governor Newsom issues new executive order further enhancing state and local government’s ability to respond to COVID-19 pandemic – March 12
- Proclamation of a state of emergency – March 4
- California Retailers Association COVID-19 State Resources
- Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7N Further restricts retail operations: Requires all retail establishments that have been allowed to remain open and permit customers inside to take appropriate and reasonable measures to ensure customers maintain 6′ of distance between each other and manage any resulting lines to maintain such distance while people are waiting to enter. Also requires these establishments, where reasonably practical, to employ touchless payment technology if they already have such technology available and the customer has such technology available. — March 26
- The Governor issued Executive Order 7J: Protection of Public Health and Safety during COVID-19 Pandemic and Response – Clarifying E.O. No. 7 Regarding Operations at Non-Essential Businesses and Providing for Rapid State Government Emergency Response. NOTE: “Pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order 7J, issued on March 22, 2020, 1) non-essential retailers may be staffed on-site, provided that they may only offer remote ordering (e.g. phone, internet, mail, dropbox) and curb-side pick-up or delivery and 2) non-essential businesses and nonprofits to allow staff or third parties on site to the minimum extent necessary to provide security, maintenance and receipt of mail and packages. This includes, but is not limited to, auto, boat, bicycle, recreational vehicle, and all other vehicle sales, if conducted remotely.” — March 22
- Governor issued Executive Order 7I — March 21
- Business Exemptions for Coronavirus – Executive Order 7H — March 20
- Governor Lamont Announces Connecticut Businesses Approved to Receive Disaster Assistance Due to COVID-19 — March 16
- EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: DRS Extends Filing Deadline for Certain Annual State Business Tax Returns — March 15
- Executive order on protection of public health and safety during COVID-19 pandemic and response – March 12
- State of Connecticut – COVID-19 Business Resources
- TRAFFIC ADVISORY: Street Closures — March 21
- Mayor’s Order 2020-050: Extensions of Public Emergency and Public Health Emergency: Coronavirus (COVID-19) — March 20
- Mayor’s Order 2020-051: Prohibition on Mass Gatherings During Public Health Emergency – Coronavirus (COVID-19) — March 20
- Washington, DC Coronavirus Newsroom
- Executive Order ordering bars, video poker establishments, bowling alleys, fitness centers and gyms, movie theaters and casinos to close. Restaurants, cafes and coffee shops are limited to only delivery, take-out or drive through service through April 12. – March 16
- New Orleans Closures: Requires public and private gatherings to be canceled or prohibited in non-emergency situations. Bars, gyms and fitness centers, shopping centers configured as malls (but not strip centers), live performance venues, reception facilities and other establishments where large gatherings routinely occur and/or where the risk of possible COVID-19 spread exists, shall cease operations. Restaurants shall limit operations to take out and delivery only. – March 16
- Update to COVID-19 public health emergency – March 13
- Requires all gatherings of 250+ people between Friday, March 13, 2020 and Monday, April 13, 2020 to be postponed or cancelled. This applies only to gatherings in a single space at the same time where individuals will be in close proximity to one another. It does not apply to normal operations at locations like airports, medical facilities, shopping centers or malls, office buildings, factories or manufacturing facilities, or grocery or department stores. This provision may be extended beyond Monday, April 13, 2020 by further order.
- Proclamation of a public health emergency – COVID-19 – March 11
- Governor prohibits dine-in service at bars & restaurants; bans gatherings more than 10 people & signs emergency legislation to respond to COVID-19 — March 18
- Governor Mills, Legislature Spearhead Emergency Legislative Package to Respond to COVID-19 — March 17
- Governor announces significant recommendations and signs civil emergency proclamation – March 15
- Retail Association of Maine COVID-19 Resource Page
- Governor Mills, Maine CDC announce first presumptive positive case and additional steps to respond to COVID-19 – March 12
- Order of the Governor: Interpretive guidance clarifies non-essential businesses are allowed to have staff in the store and continue to sell products on a delivery or curbside pickup basis — March 24
- Governor Hogan Orders Closure of Bars and Restaurants, Announces Unprecedented Public Health Surge To Combat COVID-19 Crisis – March 16
- Governor’s COVID-19 Resource Page
- Declaration of state of emergency and existence of catastrophic health emergency – March 5
- Executive Order No. 2020-21: Temporary requirement to suspend activities not necessary to sustain or protect life. This order is in effect March 24 at 12:01 am—April 13 at 11:59 pm — March 23
- MEDC, state’s small business support organizations join forces to develop resources for Michigan’s small businesses impacted by COVID-19 — March 17
- Executive Order 2020-11: Temporary prohibition on large assemblages and events
- Michigan announces first presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 – March 10
- Resources for Michigan Businesses During COVID-19
- Resources for Employers & Workers from michigan.gov
- Montana Employer Frequently Asked Questions (COVID-19) — March 18
- Governor Bullock announced resources for small businesses from the Small Business Administration — March 17
- Governor Bullock declares state of emergency in Montana related to COVID-19 – March 12
- COVID-19: Resource Guide for Montana Employers and Employees
- Governor Chris Sununu Issues Emergency Orders 6, 7, 8 — March 18
- Governor Sununu Issues Three Emergency Orders To Provide Relief — March 17
- Temporary prohibition on scheduled gatherings of 50 or more attendees and onsite beverage consumption – March 16
- Governor declares a state of emergency – March 13
- Governor’s Press Conference on WMUR – March 13
- COVID-19 New Hampshire Business Resources — includes COVID-19 NH Business Resources, Unemployment Info, Public Health & Support Info, and additional state & federal resources
- New Hampshire Small Business Development Center – COVID 19 Assistance
- SBDC Disaster Assistance
- New Hampshire Employment Security
- State of New York: Information on Novel Coronavirus — updated daily
- Pennsylvania Joins New York, New Jersey and Connecticut’s Regional Coalition to Combat COVID-19 — March 18
- Governor Cuomo and Attorney General James Temporarily Suspend State Debt Collection in Response to Coronavirus — March 17
- Interim guidance for large gatherings and public spaces during the COVID-19 outbreak – March 13
- Declaring a disaster emergency in the state of New York – March 7
- Governor Wolf Requests Disaster Declaration for Small Businesses and Non-Profits to Obtain Loans — March 18
- Wolf Administration Updates Businesses on Guidance for COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts, extends non-essential business closures commonwealth-wide – March 16
- Governor orders restaurants and bars to close dine-in service in mitigation counties including Allegheny to stop spread of COVID-19 – March 16
- Letter to business in Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties encouraging “non-essential” businesses temporarily close – March 14
- Governor Wolf signs COVID-19 disaster declaration to provide increased support for state response – March 6
- Executive Order requiring all public schools closed through March 31 and limits public gatherings to 100 people or less — March 16
- Declaration of State of Emergency — March 13
- Executive Order to waive certain transportation requirements in response to North Carolina’s declared State of Emergency — March 12
- DHEC: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
- Virgin Islands Department of Health coronavirus update.
- The Bureau of Motor Vehicles announced new procedures to help limit the spread of COVID-19 — March 17
- Governor Bryan declared a state of emergency — March 13
- The Virginia Chamber released an updated message on COVID-19 — March 18
- The Virginia Chamber sent a letter to the Virginia Congressional Delegation regarding COVID-19 and the impact it could have on the business community and all Virginians. — March 18
- Declaration of a state of emergency due to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) – March 12
- Virginia Department of Small Business & Supplier Diversity — COVID-19 Information
- Retail Alliance – Coronavirus Resources
- Virginia Retail Federation – COVID-19
- Virginia Chamber of Commerce – COVID-19
COVID-19 | Cigar Production Affected
March 18 (source: Cigar Journal): The first Covid-19 cases are confirmed in Cuba. Up to now there are no restrictions. The cigar factories are still producing. Factory tours have been discontinued. There is no entry ban for tourists, yet.
March 17 (source: Cigar Aficionado): No factories have closed in Cuba, but a source from Habanos stated that they are taking preventative sanitary measures without providing further details. As of March 12, the Cuban Ministry of Health confirmed four cases of Coronavirus in Cuba, although that number might increase soon. A Coronavirus-infected cruise ship that was stranded at sea in the Caribbean for weeks has been given clearance to dock in Cuba’s Mariel port.
March 19: Dominican Republic has declared a state of emergency and has closed its land, sea and air borders for 15 days, effective 6:00 am Thursday.
March 19 (source: Cigar Aficionado): As of March 19, there have been 34 confirmed cases of Coronavirus and two confirmed deaths in the Dominican Republic.
Arturo Fuente told Cigar Aficionado on March 19 that it has begun the process of shutting down its Dominican cigar factory, which makes tens of millions of premium cigars annually. The operation employs more than 3,000 people and will be closed until April 3.
EPC Cigar Co. closed its factory in Santiago on March 19. “We will be closed all next week,” said owner Ernesto Perez-Carrillo. He said the situation could be be extended another week “depending on the situation. … Hopefully all will be safe to go back to work in that time.”
Meanwhile Altadis’ Tabacalera de García Ltd., the largest factory in the Dominican Republic, remains open. The Altadis headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale and the distribution center in Tampa are open as well.
“We are taking increased sanitation measures and many staff are teleworking from home,” said Rafael Nodal, head of product capability for Altadis parent company Tabacalera USA.
“We have enough inventory in Miami and will do our best to assist all of our clients and customers during this unprecedented time,” he said in an official statement.
March 18 (source: Cigar Journal): Nicaragua’s cigar factories are still running. Hygienic protection is more important than ever, Fred Vandermarliere from Oliva and Nestor Plasencia from Plasencia Cigars told Cigar Journal.
March 18 (source: Cigar Journal): All factories are closed.
March 17 (source: Cigar Aficionado): With now 12 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, Honduras isn’t taking any chances. On Tuesday, March 17, it imposed a seven-day shutdown on nonessential business, and that includes cigar factories. The shutdown means a halt to production for the third-leading exporter of premium cigars to the United States, a nation that ships 60 to 70 million handmade cigars a year to the U.S.
Honduras also ordered all borders (air, land and sea) to be closed for a week.
“In Honduras, the government ordered all companies to close for seven days,” said Nestor Andrés Plasencia, who owns cigar factories in Honduras as well as in neighboring Nicaragua. “We hope that next Monday we can start again.”
Christian Eiroa, owner of C.L.E. Cigar Co., is also directly affected by the country’s lockdown. He grows tobacco and produces cigars in Honduras and echoes Plasencia’s statement.
“The government shut down all operations in all industries except for health and food,” said Eiroa. “It is being reviewed every seven days. We should have an update Friday or Monday.”
The shutdown could potentially have a heavy impact on companies like Altadis U.S.A., which produces cigars at its Flor de Copan factory; General Cigar Co., which produces Punch and Hoyo de Monterrey in Honduras; Alec Bradley, which has cigars made under contract at the Raices Cubanas factory; and Rocky Patel, who produces a large number of his cigars at one of Plasencia’s factories in El Paraiso, Honduras.
But Patel isn’t particularly worried—at least not yet. “I don’t think it will affect us in the short term,” he said. “We have a significant level of inventory that could last us for six months. We have always had a policy of keeping a large inventory in Florida in case of political disturbances or other issues that could arise in Central America.”
March 18 (source: Cigar Journal): “Our historic J.C. Newman El Reloj factory Tampa remains open. We continue to roll cigars there every day, although we have stopped offering tours and cancelled meetings and outside visitors”, Drew Newman told Cigar Journal via mail. „All of the factories are taking additional measures to promote personal hygiene and keep things clean, and the operational status of our factories may change depending upon government recommendations or requirements in the coming week“, Mr. Newman adds.
March 17 (source: Cigar Aficionado): In the US, cases of Coronavirus increase with every news report. Although Padrón’s factory in Nicaragua is still operating, it closed its retail store in Miami. Meanwhile in Miami’s Little Havana section, the small El Titan de Bronze factory is keeping its doors open, but is limiting business to curbside pickups.
The J.C. Newman Cigar Co. has endured two World Wars, the Great Depression and many other challenges throughout its 125-year history. For now, both of the company’s factories—El Reloj factory in Tampa’s Ybor City and Puros de Esteli Nicaragua, S.A., or PENSA, in Estelí, Nicaragua—continue to operate, but the company is monitoring the situation.
“We are continuing to roll cigars as usual at our J.C. Newman El Reloj factory in Tampa, Florida, and J.C. Newman PENSA factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, but we will continue to reevaluate our operations as the situation continues to develop,” said Drew Newman, general counsel. “As a family business, we are very concerned about our employees and their families and are encouraging our staff who are ill, more vulnerable to illness, or need to stay home to care for children or aging relatives to remain at home. We have also asked our sales people around the country to cancel their travel and work close to home for the time being.”
March 18 (source: Cigar Journal): J. Cortès factory is still producing cigars, but has sent home older workers, those considered risk groups or those who have family members in risk groups. Those who are still needed in the factory and shipping department continue to work.