Seth Weiner, president of Gaithersburg, Maryland, distributor Sonic Promos (PPAI 288270, D3), was featured on a panel of small-business owners from across the U.S. as part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce State of American Business.

In the panel, U.S. Chamber President Suzanne Clark sat down with Steve Case, Revolution CEO and America Online co-founder; Weiner and three other small-business owners to examine the state of business in their industries and communities. Weiner highlighted some of the adaptation that the company has had to implement in order to adjust to the ever-changing global climate.

Weiner shared how his company managed the impact of Chinese import tariffs on his business. Responding to a question by Clark, he spoke on the steps they took to buy inventory in advance of the tariffs going into effect, challenges in providing quotes and working with program buyers, and steps taken to mitigate the situation. He also discussed the secondary effect of trade policy on small businesses, noting that other industries’ struggles can affect his business as well.

“This narrative is not new,” says Weiner. “We have been hearing about it, talking about it and working with it for more than a year now. Having strong supplier partnerships has enabled us to work with our clients to manage their programs and budgets. Educating our clients on potential impact and suggesting alternative solutions is a critical part of program development process.”