I am sure you’ve heard them all: free displays, free samples and free money. But, as you’re reading this list, you must be saying, “Where’s the catch?” Well, let’s take a look at each of these items. With free displays and samples, manufacturers may not charge you for them up front, but they’ll cover the expenses of these items in roll and product purchases made at a later time.

Now, consider the free money program. As a member of the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), you can get free money totaling $1,000 in trade scholarships each year. The catch or exchange: you pay $225 in annual dues (or slightly higher based upon your annual retail sales) as a regular member of the organization and, in return, get $1,000 in trade scholarships each year.

I want to repeat this again for those of you uncertain about what I just said. You can be a member of the industry’s leading retail floor covering organization, the World Floor Covering Association, for $225 per year as a regular member. And, regular member organizations (those actively engaged in the business of contracting for the treatment of, installation of, or selling at retail of floor covering or related products) can receive trade scholarships up to a maximum cumulative total of $1,000 per year. Individuals may be awarded up to a cumulative maximum of $500 per year.

You may be wondering why. Well, the WFCA understands education is the way to raise your business to the next level of professionalism. And, the association is backing this effort by budgeting $125,000 for the period July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2001 (first-come, first-served basis) under its Trade Scholarship program. Isn’t the betterment and advancement of the floor covering industry dependent upon greater knowledge and professionalism?

In fact, the WFCA is so committed to raising the level of education in the industry that it recently added Harry Perdew to its ranks as director of education. Thanks largely to his efforts, the association has started its Essential Business Skills for Managers program. And the start of this education program also marks the beginning of the WFCA Education Forum.

So don’t wait, retailers. If you’re not a member, call the World Floor Covering Association today at (800) 624-6880 and get your free money (for trade scholarships). Some rules and regulations do apply.