I saw that the Southeast Acquirers Association will hold its annual meeting in person this year toward the end of May. On the one hand, I'm happy to hear this, because nothing can really replace the connections you make in person at this kind of gathering. On the other hand, I'm concerned about bringing a large number of people together in the same rooms, some of which might be smaller conference rooms. I'm just not sure it's a safe move. What's your take on this?
Glen Tate, Merchant Level Salesperson
Thank you for this question, which is timely and surely to be of concern to your peers. As of this writing, the most recent update from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention was March 23. "[P]eople who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic," the CDC advised. "We’re still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. After you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions in public places like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces until we know more."
Specifics regarding what activities the CDC deems safe and what precations to take are provided at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/guidance.html. Conditions will inevitably change between now and May 24, when the SEAA's annual meeting kicks off at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs, Fla., so it's a good idea to check the CDC's website periodically for updated information before the event.
Some good news is that if you are not yet comfortable attending in-person gatherings, the SEAA's event organizers are including a virtual component. For further information, see the SEAA's website at www. southeastacquirers.
Have you changed your business activities as more people have received COVID-19 vaccinations? How about your merchant customers? Do you expect local Main Streets to be booming soon? Tell us at email@example.com.
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