BBM eNews


Imports Down, Exports Up For January 2020,
Compared To January 2019

U.S. government trade figures for January 2020 indicated raw material imports were down in three categories outlined: broom and mop handles, brush backs and metal handles, compared to January 2019.

Import totals for January 2020 were down in all eight of the finished goods categories outlined.


Hog Bristle

The United States imported 22,086 kilograms of hog bristle in January 2020,
up 36 percent from 16,261 kilograms imported in January 2019.

China sent all of the hog bristle to the United States during January 2020.

The average price per kilogram for January 2020 was $19.68, down
54 percent from the average price per kilogram for January 2019 of $42.37.

Broom And Mop Handles

The import total of broom and mop handles during January 2020 was
1.2 million, down 29 percent from 1.7 million for January 2019.

The United States received 516,862 broom and mop handles from Honduras
and 304,090 from Brazil during January 2020.

The average price per handle for January 2020 was 74 cents,
up 17 percent from 63 cents for January 2019.

Brush Backs

January 2020 imports of brush backs totaled 273,883, down 41 percent from 468,104 for January 2019.

Indonesia shipped 152,152 brush backs to the United States during January 2020, while Canada shipped 100,731.

The average price per brush back was 40 cents during January 2020,
down 22 percent from 51 cents for January 2019.

Metal Handles

The import total of metal handles during January 2020 was 1.3 million,
down 24 percent from 1.7 million for January 2019.

During January 2020, Italy sent 435,536 metal handles to the United States,
while China shipped 420,185 and Spain exported 403,200.

The average price per handle for January 2020 was $1, down 14 percent from $1.16 for January 2019.


Brooms Of Broom Corn Valued At More Than 96 Cents

The United States imported 445,319 brooms of broom corn valued at more
than 96 cents per broom during January 2020, down 22 percent from 570,746
for January 2019.

Mexico sent all the brooms to the United States during January 2020.

The average price per broom for January 2020 was $2.30, the same as
for January 2019.


Brooms & Brushes Of Vegetable Material

The import total of brooms and brushes of vegetable material during
January 2020 was 109,763, down 82 percent from 601,102 brooms and
brushes imported during January 2019.

During January 2020, the Dominican Republic exported 26,788 brooms
and brushes to the United States, while China sent 24,000.

The average price per unit for January 2020 was $1.44, up 300 percent
from 36 cents for January 2019.


The United States imported 100.8 million toothbrushes in January 2020,
down 14 percent from 117.5 million imported in January 2019.

China sent 74.6 million toothbrushes to the United States during January 2020.

The average price per toothbrush for January 2020 was 23 cents, down 1 cent from the average price for January 2019.


January 2020 imports of hairbrushes totaled 4.2 million, down 31 percent
from 6.1 million for January 2019.

China sent 4.1 million hairbrushes to the United States during January 2020.

The average price per hairbrush was 23 cents during January 2020, the same
as for January 2019.

Shaving Brushes

The United States imported 6.4 million shaving brushes in January 2020,
down 31 percent from 9.3 million imported in January 2019.

China sent 5.6 million shaving brushes to the United States during January 2020.

The average price per shaving brush for January 2020 was 11 cents,
up 57 percent from 7 cents for January 2019.

Paint Rollers

The import total of paint rollers during January 2020 was 6.6 million,
down 1 percent from 6.7 million for January 2019.

China sent 5.7 million paint rollers to the United States during January 2020.

The average price per paint roller for January 2020 was 46 cents, down
1 cent from the average price for January 2019.


U.S. companies imported 23.1 million paintbrushes during January 2020,
down 13 percent from 26.6 million for January 2019.

China shipped 21.5 million paintbrushes to the United States during January 2020.

The average price per paintbrush for January 2020 was 30 cents, the same
as for January 2019.

Upright Brooms

The total import of upright brooms for January 2020 was 2.1 million,
down 9 percent from 2.3 million for January 2019.

China sent 2 million upright brooms to the United States during January 2020.

The average price per broom for January 2020 was $1.30, down 29 percent
from $1.84 for January 2019.


Export totals for January 2020 were up in three categories outlined: shaving brushes, artist brushes and paintbrushes, compared to January 2019.

Brooms & Brushes Of Vegetable Materials

The United States exported 5,290 dozen brooms and brushes of vegetable materials during January 2020, down 21 percent from the January 2019 total of 6,691 dozen.

The United States sent 2,379 dozen brooms and brushes to Canada during January 2020.

The average price per dozen brooms and brushes was $42.81 in January 2020,
up 27 percent from $33.64 for January 2019.



During January 2020, the United States exported 14.4 million toothbrushes,
down 9 percent from 15.8 million for January 2019.

The United States exported 4.3 million toothbrushes to Canada during
January 2020.

The average price per toothbrush for January 2020 was 68 cents, up 39 percent from 49 cents for January 2019.

Shaving Brushes

The United States exported 1.8 million shaving brushes during January 2020,
up 131 percent from 799,336 for January 2019.

During January 2020, the United States exported 1.1 million shaving brushes
to Mexico.

The average price per shaving brush for January 2020 was 87 cents,
down 47 percent from $1.63 for January 2019.

Artist Brushes

January 2020 exports of artist brushes totaled 693,134, up 9 percent from
633,203 for January 2019.

Canada received 495,250 artist brushes from the United States during
January 2020.

The average price per artist brush was $4.55 during January 2020,
up 31 percent from $3.47 for January 2019.


The export total of paintbrushes during January 2020 was 99,856,
up 2 percent from 97,529 for January 2019.

Canada imported 49,663 paintbrushes from the United States during
January 2020.

The average price per paintbrush for January 2020 was $8.08, down 13 percent from $9.24 for January 2019.


January 2020

January 2020 Export Chart


Click here for the entire January 2020
Import/Export Statistics.




The American Brush Manufacturers Association (ABMA) hosted another video networking session on April 9. The sessions are designed to allow the ABMA community to share experiences and information about COVID-19 and other pressing issues.

Information shared during the latest session included:
• Various company representatives reported on how their businesses are monitoring employees’ health in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. That includes taking the temperature of all employees as they arrive for work, and having office staff members
work from their homes. Another conversation centered on how to keep employees
safe from the virus while at work, such as through social distancing practices;

• Many company representatives said their businesses have applied to participate
in the PPP and/or EIDL federal programs, but have not received funds as of April 9;

• Discussions also took place on the pros and cons of offering bonuses to those
employees who remain working at a company facility during the COVID-19 pandemic. Another idea was to have employees work for seven hours and get paid for eight. That,
of course, depends on how busy the company currently is, with some departments
within a specific company often busier than others; and,

• Several participants at the session reported that their companies have continued to stay quite busy thus far during the pandemic, while others have noted that business has slowed.

Visit for when the next ABMA video networking session is scheduled.


The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on many North American manufacturers and suppliers involved in the brush, mop, broom and related industries.
There is help, however, for U.S. companies that are struggling financially due to the pandemic.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (H.R. 748), also known as the CARES Act, was signed into law by President Trump in March to address
the U.S. economic fallout from the pandemic.

Federal programs available to help U.S. businesses include the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for employers of 500 people or fewer; and the Economic Injury
Disaster Loan (EIDL).

The U.S. Small Business Adminstration (SBA) has reported 411,675 approved PPP loans under the CARES Act as of the middle of April. The value of those loans was
$107 billion, involving 3,759 lenders.

The maximum amount of a PPP loan is $10 million and is mainly tied to payroll costs. Allowable uses of the loan are: employee salaries, paid/medical leave, insurance
premiums, mortgage/rent and utility payments. At least 75 percent of PPP proceeds
must be used to cover payroll costs, with no more than 25 percent being used for
nonpayroll costs. There is no collateral required or a personal guarantee. Operators can
also apply for, and receive, an SBA EIDL loan. However, money from the EIDL and PPP
may not be used on the same things. There is eligibility for PPP total loan forgiveness, if requirements are met. Lenders are required to provide payment deferment relief for one year.

The PPP is focused on employees’ compensation by keeping their health insurance intact and providing them with money for living expenses. Another benefit is that the employees remain linked to their employers. The original funding for PPP was $349 billion. Congress is expected to increase that amount. PPP is set to end June 30.

The EIDL, meanwhile, currently involves $10 billion in funding. It also does not have to be paid back if requirements are met. Despite that, EIDLs are still referred to as “loans” of up to $2 million, with an interest rate of no more than 4 percent. There is also no collateral required
or a personal guarantee (less than $200,000).

The EIDL may be used to pay for a company’s expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred, including payroll and other operating bills. It may be used
to provide paid sick leave to employees, maintaining pay roll and pay business obligations. That includes debts, rent and mortgage payments. Eligible recipients must have
been in operation on Jan. 31, 2020. The EIDL is available to small businesses, private nonprofits, sole proprietors, independent contractors, tribal businesses, cooperatives
and employee-owned businesses.

Visit for updated information on both the PPP and EIDL.


International Housewares Association
By Lisa Ryan

International Housewares Association

Lisa Ryan

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly changed business. Employees who have never worked from home are now finding themselves on their own, trying to focus on their work while dealing with lots of distractions — kids, pets and home life temptations ranging from Netflix to laundry.

Just because “social distancing” is in place, doesn’t mean that managers should be out of touch with their people. Here are a few ways that business leaders can continue to connect with team members when
they don’t have the option of in-person interaction.

• Check-in and offer support — Whether you’ve had to lay off your employees or you’ve offered them the opportunity to do their work from home, the chances are good that they are stressed out. Pick up the phone and see how they’re doing. Let them know you’re there for them if they need you. Showing that you trust your employees is incredibly important right now. Share with them that you believe they care about the company, their work and want to do a good job. If you have a concern about an individual’s productivity, schedule a conversation to talk through what’s going on and how you can help.

• Be transparent — No one knows when this crisis will be over and what the overall impact on business will be. Managers should share both positive and negative implications with their team members to give them a realistic picture of what’s going on. Create a safe space for your employees to share their concerns as well as their ideas for improvement.

• Set objectivesGive your employees specific goals to achieve during their work-from-home period. Don’t overload them, but instead, allow them to have small successes and victories along the way. As it looks right now, people are going to be working remotely for the foreseeable future. Make sure your team can connect to the technology they need to do their job. Ensure that they have the tools to get their job done. Ask them what else they need to be productive. Do everything you can to make adjustments and minimize their frustrations.

• Encourage out-of-the-box thinking — With all the disruption that’s happening in business and industry right now, this may be the ideal time to let your employees experiment with new processes, products and technology. Don’t think that you must figure everything out by yourself; ask your employees for their ideas and suggestions to handle different situations. Even though some jobs have decreased or stopped altogether, you probably have new priorities now in place. Ask your team for input on activities and responsibilities they should be focusing on to get you through both the short term and the long run.

Acknowledge contributions — As employees reach their objectives, make sure to let them know how much you appreciate their efforts, and how it’s helping the organization get through this difficult time. Be specific in your praise, and let your staff know that you are paying attention to the excellent work they are doing. How you treat your employees now may determine whether they decide to stay with you once the crisis is over. A simple “thank you” goes a long way.

The Gallup organization has found employees have four universal needs of leaders.
They are: trust, compassion, stability and hope. In these times, the need for such
traits is stronger than ever.

One tool Gallup offers is a short pulse survey for your employees to share their feedback
with you. Use these statements to poll your people, and then prioritize your ACTIONS
on the areas that you score lowest.

Here are the poll statements:
1. My leadership has a clear plan of action.
2. I feel well-prepared to do my job.
3. My supervisor keeps me informed about what is going on.
4. My organization cares about my well-being.
5. Over the past 24 hours, how often have you been practicing social distancing?

COVID-19 is having an unprecedented impact on every business right now.
Here’s the good news. This pandemic is forcing organizations to consider every area of
their business differently than ever before. Remote working, using online platforms like
Zoom and Facebook Live, and new ways of safely delivering products are just a few examples of the positive changes that have already happened. You can bet that there
are many more changes on the way that will make a positive impact on our economy
and in the world.

Take advantage of this opportunity to change, grow and prepare your organization
for long-term success.

Lisa Ryan was a guest speaker during the recent 103rd American Brush
Manufacturers Association (ABMA) Annual Convention in St. Petersburg, FL. Ryan ( is a Certified Speaking Professional, engagement and retention
expert, culture consultant and author of the book, “Manufacturing Engagement: 98 Proven
Strategies to Attract and Retain Your Industry’s Top Talent.”



Industry News

New Hires At Nexstep

Beth Spencer, Accounts Assoc.

Nexstep Commercial Products has hired Beth Spencer as accounts receivable
associate where she has joined the corporate staff in Springfield, OH. She recently
moved to Ohio from Wisconsin to be closer to family.


The billing specialist and accounting assistant position she held previously was for a company that offered specialized heavy-hauling trucking services, as well as material hauling dump truck services. Prior to that, she worked for a crane, rigging, and heavy-haul company processing the billing and overseeing safety certifications and programs for the crane department.

Spencer is currently working on a Bachelor of Science degree, with a major in business management, at Western Governors University.


Beth Spencer


Brent Hadden, Logistics Supervisor


Nexstep also announced that Brent Hadden has joined the company as logistics supervisor in Paxton, IL.

Hadden previously was with
Hearthside Food Solutions, a
company that packages pet food
in Gibson City, IL, where he was warehouse supervisor.

He worked at Hearthside over 12 years.


Brent Hadden

Nexstep is the exclusive licensee of O-Cedar.
For more information, visit




April 10 Update From Gordon Brush



“We’re happy to report that as of today, all our team members remain free of COVID-19 symptoms, and we are still operating at 100 percent capacity. Our suppliers have continued to provide us with a steady stream of raw materials, and I’m proud of our dedicated employees who are coming to work each day. Our people are working with customers and vendors, and producing items that are critical to keep your essential businesses operating.

"Thank you to our customers for your continued support in purchasing from us. Thank you to our vendors who are committed to keeping us supplied with much needed raw materials. Thank you to our team members who make magic happen each and every day. Together, we’ll get through this.”

Ken Rakusin

Ben Maibach To Become The Wooster Brush
Company's 10th President


Ben Maibach

The Wooster Brush Company's board of directors has elected Ben Maibach to succeed
Bill Fagert as the company's 10th president, effective May 1. Bill Fagert, president since 2010, will become vice chairman of the board of directors.

Since joining Wooster Brush in 2014, Maibach has served as vice president of national accounts, held a seat on the company's board of directors and most recently led the team overseeing Wooster's rebranding efforts. ­

He brings over 20 years of sales and marketing experience to his new role including time
as vice president of sales at Waxman Consumer Group and multiple sales and marketing roles while at Moen and Newell Rubbermaid.

A life-long resident of Wooster, he is a graduate of both Wooster High School and The College of Wooster. He and his wife, Courtney, have been married for 11 years. They
have three children: Benny, Bo, and Cecily. He serves on the Wooster City School Board Business Advisory Council and is also an Ohuddle Mentor.

"On behalf of all our employees, we want to thank Bill for his leadership over the
past decade," Maibach said. "Following Bill as the next president is quite an honor, but we both agree that the success of Wooster Brush has never been about one person. The combined efforts of our 600-plus dedicated employees will always be what makes our company great."

As part of this transition, Fagert maintains certain administrative and financial
responsibilities while he continues to assist and mentor Maibach in his new role.

Fagert joined The Wooster Brush Company in 1985, and served as the company's vice president of finance before being elected president.

Fagert said, "Ben is the right guy at the right time. He is a bright, proactive, optimistic
leader with the skill sets to take Wooster Brush to new, higher levels. Ben has often been involved behind the scenes and is well prepared for his new role."

Also on May 1, Scott Rutledge, vice president of marketing, will become the new
senior vice president of sales and marketing. He brings 29 years of Wooster Brush experience to his new position.

For more information visit: