As COVID-19 has taken its hold of the U.S., the American Rental Association (ARA) has made several moves in order to address the virus's impact on the equipment and event rental markets, while also working with federal agencies to try and minimize its effects.
On March 11, 2020, the ARA sent a statement to the Trump Administration recommending that the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs be funded to allow small businesses access to bridge loans with zero or low interest that would allow small businesses to continue to operate through the current emergency. It also requested authorization and funding for SBA to provide disaster relief loans or new disaster relief grants to businesses in areas affected by the coronavirus.
The association also has created a customizable letter asking state lawmakers for any available information on sources of financial assistance that may now be available to the industry at the state level. You can find the form letter at aravotes.com.
Recently, the ARA announced it would be suspending its member dues collection until August to allow its members to continue to access the association's resources and expertise during the crisis. It also, in the same announcement, stated that ARA Insurance had created a one-month payment deferral plan available to all insureds to alleviate the significant expense of insurance premiums.
In closing, the ARA commented:
"We are now living a new reality where "flatten the curve" is the goal we are all rallying around. The seriousness of our situation has set in and there is no more illusion of this being a short-term inconvenience. There will be better days ahead, but for now the order of the day is to limit the movement of people. If we all comply, we stand a good chance of slowing down the transmission of the coronavirus and thus blunting its impact.
"ARA's primary role right now is advocating for our industry and communicating useful information as we work through this."
What business practices or solutions have you implemented to get through this temporary yet challenging time?