COVID-19 Updates - Johnstone Supply Orion Group

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COVID-19 Updates

As part of Johnstone Supply, The Orion Groups efforts to be Your Partner For Success we are commited to helping you thrive during the COVID pandemic. To this end, we have created this resource page with all the latest and most important information you need. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to CALL or TEXT any of our branches.

An Important Message from Ryan Kalmbach, CEO – Johnstone Supply, The Orion Group

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To our Valued Customers:

You need to act quickly to receive PPP funds. Funds may run out by early next week.

You may feel that you can "make it" without the funds. You may feel that there are "strings" attached. You may feel that the application process is too complicated.

I passionately believe that all HVAC contractors should apply for these funds. Like most industries, our industry has been heavily impacted by COVID-19. My goal is for you to not just survive, but to Thrive. Like many of you, our revenues for the past 4 weeks at the Johnstone Supply Orion Group have been harshly impacted. You may be surprised that we chose to NOT reduce headcount, hours worked, or salaries for any of our team members. Why would we do that when every financial metric was screaming at us to cut costs?

1. Summer is coming. We want our team to be at full strength and ready to serve you, to make it easy for you to do business.
2. Culture. Our team has been hard at work creating internal efficiencies through Lean projects, training to improve their skills, innovating new service ideas, and supporting our customers. It would be a slap in the face to cut their hours or their pay when they have worked so hard.
3. PPP. We bet heavily that we would get PPP funding to help support our decision to maintain full employment.

Today, Congress is authorizing the second stream of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The bill authorizes an additional $310 billion for PPP loans. President Trump is expected to sign the bill today, which would allow banks to begin submitting loan applications tomorrow.

The Consumer Bankers Association has said that with the current backlog of applications the funding could be gone in 48-72 hours.

If you have not already submitted an application, you need to speak to your bank TODAY.

You might find this recording of a webinar we hosted about the PPP helpful: I believe so strongly in this, I am making myself personally available to you to help answer your questions. If you are having trouble finding a lender to assist you, I can direct you to a lender who can.

Call me directly: 559-240-1939
Email me:

Stay strong!

Ryan Kalmbach
Owner and CEO of Johnstone Supply Orion Group

Contact Johnstone

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Call Location
Fresno – 559.237.9000
Bakersfield – 661.861.1100
Merced – 209.386.1000
Visalia – 559.802.1160
Livermore – 925.667.4670
Salinas – 831.757.9000

Introduction – How The Orion Group is Keeping employees and Customers Safe

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To our Valued Customers:

Johnstone Supply, The Orion Group is open and here to serve you! We will remain fully staffed.

Orders are Currently Delivery or Will-Call Only

With current developments in mind, we feel it is best to take immediate action to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 spread.

Anticipating further government intervention and increased “Shelter in place” orders throughout the state of California, all branches will remain open to support essential services as this situation develops. However, we are taking special precautions to protect the health and safety of both our associates and our customers.

To comply with government direction and CDC guidelines, please read below for amendments to our current services.

At our Branches:

In order to maintain proper distancing, our branches will be supporting customer orders via Will Call only; no showrooms will be open to customers.

The easiest way to do business with us during these times is to place your orders ahead and pick them up. We have many convenient ways to order without entering the branches:

If you do visit our branches to place your order, look for directional signage on where to go and a properly distanced associate will support you!


Delivery services are available and highly encouraged. We can deliver anything, anywhere. Drivers will remain in vehicles; you will be asked to unload your orders and have someone available to do so. You will be contacted directly by our branch staff to confirm delivery time and resources.

Technical Service Advisor:

Our TSA will be working remotely and will be available to assist our customers by phone call or using STREEM – an AR Video service where customers can show their issues in real time and be assisted directly. Check out STREEM here:

Territory Managers:

Our sales force has been grounded and making no face to face sales calls, they will continue to support your needs via phone, email or text.

Accounting services and bill pay will still be fully functional and can be done through our normal channels.

Rest assured, we are doing everything we can to provide a safe experience for our customers and a healthy environment for our associates and communities. We are committed to providing you regular updates. Wherever possible we will continue to make it easier to do business.

Thanks for the opportunity to serve you.

Ryan Kalmbach
CEO – Johnstone Supply, The Orion Group


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What is an essential business?

Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.

Here are some important documents to help keep you informed:

IRS Coronavirus Site
Critical Infrastructure Workers
HVACR Industry COVID19 Joint Travel Restriction Statement
State of CA Shelter in Place Information (Construction and HVAC is an essential service)
Sample Letter - Authorization to Travel

HR & Compliance

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Split System Pandemic Tips for General Spring AC Operation Checks
Business Planning the New Normal
Operations: Thriving in the New Normal (Webinar Series)

Grow Your Maintenance Business after the Pandemic. (classes start March 30)
Web training series. (Special Johnstone customer discount: $497 ea.)
Call Ruth King at 877.520.4321 and tell her you are a Johnstone Supply customer or put it on the form at the end of the attached brochures.

Cash, Cashflow, and Cashflow Budgeting as it relates to COVID-19 and beyond.
Res/Comm Maintenance Processes and Procedures in Light of COVID19
Residential Maintenance Series
Commercial Maintenace Series
Car Loan Deferral Information

Employee Assistance

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Podcast - Personal Finances - Emergency Spending Guide


Workshare allows an employer to avoid a layoff. The employer reduces hours and the EDD (unemployment) compensates the employee for some of the reduced hours. My understanding is that it is 50% of the lost hours. So if the employee’s hours were reduced by 8, they would get paid for four of those by the EDD. This may be a great option for some of our contractors and their employees right now.

Work Share Program

Some of the rules

At least 10 percent of the employer’s regular workforce or a unit of the workforce, and a minimum of two employees, must be affected by a reduction in hours and wages.
Hours and wages must be reduced by at least 10 percent and not exceed 60 percent.


A furlough is where employees are released from work for a specified period of time (e.g. from now until April 14). The employee is still considered an employee. The employer can opt to continue covering medical insurance (optional). The employer does not have to pay out accrued PTO because the employee is “still on the books.” The employee can collect unemployment. The furlough can be shortened or lengthened. Typically this is a for a temporary situation.


A Layoff is a type of full termination of the employee. Employees will be eligible for unemployment benefits immediately.