Hi. Welcome to another episode of Mondays with Mardo's. I'm Gerard, and in this episode, we're going to talk about how 2020 has had a major impact on all industries across the board, without any question. But in today's episode, we're going to talk about how it has impacted the cigar industry. But before I get going, I need you to click on that subscribe button, click on the bell to be notified every single week of new episodes on Mondays with Mardo's.
All right. So this year, unfortunately, has thrown us a big curve ball, and some of the challenges we are facing with is production. The majority of the factories in Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, all over the world, have shut down due to the coronavirus.
Also, when it comes to distribution, what we are facing is staff has been depleted, where they are being backed up with all sorts of pallets and shipment, and they can't get things out fast enough. So therefore it's slowing things down. If not, we're not even seeing any cigars coming statewide.
All right. Another challenge that the cigar industry is facing is the in-person trade shows have been canceled. There are two trade shows that serve the cigar industry. One is the TPE, which is usually in February, and the other one's called PCA, which is usually in July. These do hold in Las Vegas, most likely at the Sands Expo or the Convention Center.
Well, these have been canceled, and the reason this impacts us is because this is where you get introduced to a lot of the newer brands that major companies are offering, a lot of new boutique companies that are coming up. Well, a lot of these guys could be facing bankruptcy, not being able to get the word out. All the marketing aspects of it are just being depleted. So that's another challenge, unfortunately.
Cigar shop lounges have been threatened, where patrons cannot come in and enjoy a lounge and sit down and smoke a cigar, and that hurts business quite a bit. Curbside assistance is not enough, so a lot of cigar shops are being threatened. And since the brick-and-mortar and lounges are being threatened, a lot of consumers are going online and shopping for their cigars. But even then, shipping has been slowed down, due to a lot of post offices in certain areas are down in staff members due to the COVID, and it's been depleting everybody.
So all around, things are just not looking so good. But we're going to look on the upside of things and what is the positive. So some of the positive things that are occurring is that USPS, UPS, FedEx, any courier agency have been improvising and hiring and training at a much faster pace, so therefore, we can get our packages.
We are on a whole new different brink of a way of life, and what we are doing is learning a lot of ways how technology can assist us. Virtual events are becoming more and more popular, and how does this assist us? Well, when it came to manufacturing and the icons in industry, people we would never be able to hear from, well, now are becoming hosts and guests on a lot of these podcasts.
Also, as people are doing a lot more virtual events, we can actually put a face to the name, and we're getting to know these people on a personal level. So that is a definite plus. And on another positive note is a lot of our consumers are now working from home, which gives them the leisure and the time to be able to support their local shops by utilizing the curbside pickup.
Other than that, this is Gerard. I'll see you next week, but don't forget to tell us in the comments what you think has impacted us and is a challenge and in a positive way. But before I get going, don't forget to follow us on Instagram, like us on Facebook, and remember to tell your friends to subscribe to our YouTube channel. I'll see you next week.