Trade Associations Make Pitch for Disaster Relief

March 18, 2020

A coalition that includes the Automotive Oil Change Association and the Auto Care Association has submitted a relief request to Congressional leaders amid slumping business.

March 18, 2020—A coalition of trade associations from aftermarket sectors like automotive repair, collision repair and quick lube have requested relief from lost business during the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a March 13 letter to Congressional leaders, the groups made the case that their businesses don’t function with the remote, work-from-home protocols that many companies have instituted this week. They said that many have already seen drops in traffic.

“Many of these businesses are already down by 40 percent to 75 percent,” according to the letter. “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.”

The coalition includes the Automotive Oil Change Association, the Auto Care Association, Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association, California Automotive Business Association, International Car Wash Association, Automotive Service Association, Tire Industry Association, Independent Automotive Professionals Association and the California Autobody Association.

Among the requests outlined in the letter is the allowance of a full deduction of business losses from their 2020 taxes. This would apply to business owners who are not able to have employees work remotely.

Additional requests include mortgage and child care assistance, as well as the inclusion of tax exempt groups, like the associations making the request, in temporary aid discussions.

The outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) has sparked widespread work-from-home directives for employees who can do so. Events have been halted or postponed across the country, including the recent cancellation of The Car Wash Show and iFLEX.

As of this article, federal lawmakers are considering aid packages for industries and workers. The Trump Administration’s proposal was estimated at $850 billion, according to The New York Times.