During this unique time in our country’s history, many ABPA members are questioning their ability to remain open and if they meet the guidelines for being an “essential” business. The short answer is, “yes”, your business as a parts distributor in both the US and Canada are considered essential in the words of both respective governments.
Essential Businesses in Both the US and Canada
In the US, the Department of Homeland Security (CISA Division) released a memorandum on 3/19 stating that those employees “supporting or enabling transportation functions” as well as “employees who repair and maintain vehicles” are essential to the US Infrastructure.
In Canada, the province of Ontario also deemed parts suppliers as essential workplaces based on their announcement on 3/24 stating the following are essential workplaces: “Motor vehicle, auto-supply, auto and motor-vehicle-repair, including bicycle repair, aircraft repair, heavy equipment repair, watercraft/marine craft repairs, car and truck dealerships and related facilities”.
The issue is that despite Federal guidance, individual states have their own authority and that their decisions are changing weekly, if not daily. Further complicating the issue, there appears to be confusion within local municipalities on the instructions from their own governor as to what is an essential business in their state.
As an ABPA member, we encourage you to review your state’s executive order from your governor. We have linked on the ABPA website a helpful chart that is maintained and updated by MultiState Associates that provides individual state information. To be proactive, it may be helpful to print out your governor’s executive order (or related documentation) stating that your business is essential as an automotive supplier and have your employees carry this on their person in the chance that local authorities question their activities.
If you feel that this wording is missing from your state’s order, let us know and the ABPA can reach out on your behalf.
How ABPA Members Can Apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans
With the passing of the CARES Act on 3/27, ABPA members may qualify for economic relief. All members are encouraged to review the qualifications and various programs on the US Small Business Administration (SBA) web page. These loans are provided through various lending institutions and are backed by the Federal Government. Under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), if you maintain your workforce, SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses following loan origination.
For further information regarding COVID-19 as it pertains to ABPA members, please visit the COVID-19 section of the ABPA Advocacy page.
Please stay safe and healthy during this time!
Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA)