The Auto Care Association, the Tire Industry Association and several other trade groups recently sent a letter to government officials asking for small business relief and other assistance.
The letter, which was addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, is as follows:
“Dear Speaker Pelosi and Republican Leader McCarthy:
“The organizations listed below represent small business trades that cannot switch their core functions to remote operation during this disaster outbreak of COVID-19. From automotive services that keep our most common form of transportation safe to food services to retailers providing the necessities of everyday living, these employers and their employees need immediate support to protect their health and safety, their customers’ health and safety, and their short and long-term economic viability.
“The crisis isn’t two months away. It’s here. Now. Consumers are scared. Many of these businesses are already down by 40% - 75%. Their operating margins cannot sustain such losses. When they fail, millions of employees become unemployed with no other source of available income while thousands of business owners declare bankruptcy. In the meantime, they suffer daily with excessive emotional stress from loss of income and shortages of critical services such as affordable health care and affordable, safe child care due to sudden and prolonged school closings.
“We urge Congress and the Trump Administration to implement the following solutions:
“1. Lawful declaration that COVID-19 is a ‘DISASTER’ for the purposes of allowing small businesses to obtain funding directly through the Small Business Administration and to obtain access to any other state, federal, and/or private relief dependent on a federal “disaster” declaration;
“2. Allow 100% deduction of business losses for non-remote-function-capable small businesses (NRFCSB) for the 2020 tax year applicable to all business formation types (e.g., S Corporations,Sole Proprietors, Partnerships, etc.). A NRFCSB is defined as a small business according to Small Business Administration standards that requires onsite employee activity and consumer interaction in order to engage in its core functions;
“3. Allow NRFCSB employees to qualify for Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program benefits including payroll assistance for reduced hours and without impacting the employer’s insurance rate;
“4. Provide a federal Child Care Subsidy for NRFCSB employers and employees;
“5. Provide Mortgage Assistance plans for NRFCSB employers and employees;
“6. Provide federal assistance for health care costs and/or a mandate to private health insurers that they must cover for free or at most the actual cost of necessary health care related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and;
“7. Include Tax-Exempt Entities in temporary aid to address the harm they’re experiencing from event cancellations and reduced meeting attendance as a result of COVID-19.
“Specifically, we urge you to include associations, nonprofits and other tax-exempt organizations within any federal aid packages or supplemental appropriations measures.
“We thank you in advance for supporting the true small business backbone of our country. If you need additional information from us to further disaster relief efforts, please let us know. We’re looking forward to working with you to ensure America’s speedy recovery.”
In a follow-up statement to the media today, TIA Director of Government Relations Roy Littlefield IV said the association is very concerned with the impact the virus will have on the tire industry and the greater economy.
“TIA represents small businesses that cannot switch their core functions to remote operation during this disaster,” he said. “Tire dealers are staying open under these conditions to especially service trucks, emergency vehicles and vehicles of medical personnel. Tires and tire dealers are essential to keeping the flow of supplies to stores and hospitals.”