Many companies continue to struggle through these difficult economic times, with some being forced to reevaluate and reorganize their business structures and budgets. Owners have found themselves asking, “What are the benefits of membership in RIA?” wondering if the benefits are worth the investment. RIA understands these concerns and is creating a host of new programs to help companies maximize their membership.

Of course there are still the traditional benefits RIA membership provides, including the advice and information available from technical advisors Martin L. King, CR, and Steven M. Spivak, Ph.D., for members dealing with damage restoration and specialty textiles. There are also a wide variety of educational courses and certifications, as well as the association’s award-winning monthly magazine.

It is impossible to provide top-notch service to members without expanding and adjusting existing programs and benefits. RIA aims to “make it better” for members in order to help them survive the recession. One of the newest offerings is the Brown Bag Webinars that literally bring education to an employee’s desktop in the same time it takes to go to lunch. These online webinars address a variety of topics ranging from legal and business issues to ideas on how to market to insurance adjusters and expand carpet and textile services.

E-courses are a part of the future, and are designed to deliver information needed to keep business owners and employees up to date without leaving their offices. Webinars are held mid-morning to early afternoon depending on the time zone and last approximately 50 minutes. Participants follow the presentation on their desktop computers and can send questions to the presenter at the end of the session. For a complete list of upcoming webinars, visit

RIA will also be launching its new Web site very shortly. In conjunction with the new site, RIA has also developed a new member benefit known as RIA Advantage, an e-commerce Web site designed to help member companies with all of their advertising and marketing needs. It serves as a central shop location, allowing members to reduce their costs without sacrificing the quality of their marketing and advertising efforts.

RIA Advantage provides options for those businesses seeking a new or updated web presence through custom-designed Web site packages. Each of the new sites can be designed at a cost lower than traditional designers’ fees. Along with designing the site, RIA Advantage will also host and maintain the Web sites while providing branded email accounts for each business. Each site will bear the RIA member logo, while enabling companies to design custom pages to marketing their firm to clients. The site also allows companies who already have existing Web sites the option to switch to RIA’s web-hosting to maintain their sites.

For those new to the business or looking to re-brand their companies, the graphic design section offers a variety of options for redesigning logos or creating something as simple as business cards and letterhead. This is a great way for new companies to utilize both the website and graphic design sections in one easy-to-use site.

For businesses in need of custom printing materials, everything from brochures and tradeshow banners to advertising materials and vehicle decals are available through RIA Advantage. RIA Advantage can be found on the web by visiting

As the industry’s international trade association, membership in RIA definitely has its benefits and the rewards far exceed the investment. For more information, visit or call (800) 272-7012.