The Northeastern Retail Lumber Association (NRLA) and Construction Suppliers Association (CSA) announced a partnership to represent their membership on federal legislative and regulatory matters. The two organizations share the same goals of providing high-quality federal legislative and regulatory services to its retail members and face the same industry challenges, according to NRLA chair Lorraine Milner. The organizations said that together, they will create an industry specific name for their advocacy that is not NRLA or CSA specific.

“We know that we are entering a challenging legislative environment for our industry, and the regulatory environment may be even more difficult,” Jason Terry, chair of the CSA and president of City Lumber in Huntsville, Ala., said in a prepared statement. “It’s critical that we have effective representation in Washington and that our representatives truly understand the industry and issues that affect us. This partnership with NRLA gives us something we have needed for quite some time.”

The CSA represents more than 320 retail locations in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. The NRLA represents more than 860 locations in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

“NRLA and CSA have enjoyed a mutually supportive relationship for many years,” NRLA president Rita Ferris said. “It is exciting to formalize the relationship and have an official partnership with CSA to provide outstanding federal legislative and regulatory services to our members.”

The announcement of the partnership between the CSA and NRLA comes shortly after the NRLA announced it was severing ties with the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA). The NRLA said the decision to split came “following a year of discussions resulting in NLBMDA adopting changes that were not aligned with NLBMDA’s or NRLA’s mission.” The NRLA provided a 90-day notice to the NLBMDA, as required.

Kirk Ives, NRLA director of legislative and regulatory affairs, said the partnership between CSA and NRLA will help advance both organization’s advocacy efforts “as we mutually pursue initiatives, policies, and regulations that will help our industry meet the challenges of a post COVID-19 economy and beyond.”