ACTION ALERT FOR MASSAGE THERAPISTS – CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSPERSON

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We’ve been carefully watching the wave of coronavirus sweeping the United States. As of today, we’re contacting our legislators in Colorado to strongly encourage them to create a national financial package that would assist you—independent businesspeople and contractors—through this pandemic. It is not possible for us to email each of the 535 Senators and Congresspeople from one zip code location, so we encourage you to contact them.

ACTION: You can help in our efforts by contacting your local US legislators directly. Please follow the steps below—you can use the letter we suggest below or use your own words.

Every one of you has two Senators and one Representative. You can find your Senators here and your Representative here.  

Once you locate your Senators and Representative, go to “Contact Me.” Pick “email about legislation” or something similar (individual states may differ on language). You will need to put in your zip code. That will take you to a new page where you will be required to enter your contact information. The next link usually provides scroll-down options for issues. Pick the issue closest to “economy” or “labor and employment.” We suggest using a subject line that describes what you would like to see in legislation. For example, “Support Independent Contractors in COVID-19 Relief Legislation.”

In your correspondence, explain to them how this pandemic negatively affects your income and livelihood. The more voices they hear and the louder we are collectively, the more impact we can have.

Here is the letter we suggest you use:

Dear Congressperson or Senator:

I’m writing to you today as a member of Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals. We are a membership association of more than 80,000 members practicing in each of our 50 United States. We are massage therapists and bodywork professionals—part of a larger community of more than 330,000 practitioners whose livelihoods are suspended right now due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

We’ve carefully watched the wave of coronavirus sweeping the United States. This week we have received warnings to temporarily shutter our practices in an effort to help combat the spread. Doing so cuts off our livelihood, but we understand the importance.

I am writing to strongly encourage you to create a financial package that would assist independent business people and contractors through this pandemic.

The reality is most of us practitioners are independent contractors, not employees, and are therefore not entitled to unemployment benefits. Most of us are sole proprietors and don’t operate in a formal small business framework, so we fall outside the parameters of emergency small business loans.

Consider, for instance, the average massage therapist works between 12–14 hours a week, largely due to the limitations of hands-on physical labor. The median annual income a practitioner can anticipate is less than $25,000. This averages out to $500 per week. From this income, massage therapists must allocate funds to pay their rented workspace, supplies, and other work-related expenses, along with the basic requirements all of us have—shelter, food, support for our families.

We strongly encourage you to consider including those who work as independent contractors when drafting COVID-19 related financial assistance. Providing cash benefits to these individuals impacts them, their businesses, their families, and their communities.

We thank you for your consideration and welcome further conversation. When this pandemic clears, our country will need these therapeutic services more than ever. We appreciate you helping our practitioners now and moving forward.

Sincerely,

[your name]

Member, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals
 

Thank you for using your voice and supporting our professions. Be safe. For reference, here is the letter sent by ABMP:

March 18, 2020

Dear Congressperson or Senator:

I’m writing to you today on behalf of the employees and members of Professional Assist Corporation. We are an organization based in Golden, Colorado, that serves more than 100,000 members practicing in each of our 50 United States in the wellness and beauty professions through four professional membership associations. We provide liability insurance, continuing education, practice-building tools, and legislative support. These dedicated individuals are massage therapists and bodyworkers, estheticians, hair stylists, and nail professionals—all part of a community of more than 1 million practitioners whose livelihoods are suspended right now due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

We’ve carefully watched the wave of coronavirus sweeping the United States. This week we issued warnings to our members to temporarily shutter their practices in an effort to help combat the spread. They’re doing so in droves, fearful of what tomorrow brings.

On behalf of our members, we strongly encourage you to create a financial package that would assist independent business people and contractors through this pandemic.

The reality is most of these practitioners are independent contractors, not employees, and are therefore not entitled to unemployment benefits. Most are sole proprietors and don’t operate in a formal small business framework, so they fall outside the parameters of emergency small business loans.

Consider, for instance, the average massage therapist works between 12–14 hours a week, largely due to the limitations of hands-on physical labor. The median annual income a practitioner can anticipate is less than $25,000. This averages out to $500 per week. From this income, massage therapists must allocate funds to pay their rented workspace, supplies, and other work-related expenses, along with the basic requirements all of us have—shelter, food, support for our families.

Professional Assist Corporation strongly encourages you to consider including those who work as independent contractors when drafting COVID-19 related financial assistance. Providing cash benefits to these individuals impacts them, their businesses, their families, and their communities.

We thank you for your consideration and welcome further conversation. When this pandemic clears, our country will need these therapeutic services more than ever. We appreciate you helping our practitioners now and moving forward.

Sincerely,

Les Sweeney
President
Professional Assist Corporation
Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals
Associated Skin Care Professionals
Associated Hair Professionals
Associated Nail Professionals

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Comments

Done! I just emailed all 3 of my congresspeople. THANK YOU, ABMP for posting this and writing the form letter. Way to support your members!!! I hope that many self employed people do this as we need special consideration in this time of crisis and uncertainty. I appreciate your efforts in this matter. 

Thank you for including and supporting all independent contractors!

Thank you for giving us direction on how we can make our voices heard during this time of uncertainty!

I emailed my Congressmen with the sample letter. Thanks so much for keeping on top of the political and economic actions that we can take as citizens, bodyworkers (reflexologist and Ortho-bionomist), and as part of the ABMP membership.

I am grateful to ABMP for helping gain attention to our situation and in helping us be recognized as the govenmental relief, economic packages are being negotiated.

Sincerely,

M. Elena Patino

We are so appreciative of the resources and guidance, and tools to help us through this time and raise public awareness. 

Modified and localized the letter and sent it to my U.S. Senators, Representative, State Governor, Senator and Rep. 

I too have contacted my PA representatives.   Let's hope it quickly brings about the positive actions we all desire.