WASHINGTON — The Auto Care Association (ACA), Tire Industry Association (TIA) and Automotive Service Association (ASA) are among 100-plus trade associations that have banded together to advocate for a grant-based federal assistance program for American businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The coalition, America’s Recovery Fund Coalition, comprises more than 100 trade association and business groups from retail, restaurants, theaters, the travel industry, and financial services, representing 58 million American workers.
In a letter sent to President Donald Trump, congressional leaders and the secretary of the treasury, the coalition stated it believes "Congress must urgently create a federal direct assistance fund to provide rapid liquidity to businesses impaired by the COVID-19 national emergency.
"We believe the fund should be designed to help businesses maintain ongoing capital obligations during the prolonged crisis and the next months of economic healing, enabling employees to continue receiving pay, maintain benefits, and help employers rehire former employees while workplaces get back on their feet and safely reopen to the public."
The coalition acknowledged existing federal assistance programs, such as the Paycheck Protection Program, to help defray the impact of the COVID-19 economic crisis, "but we must build upon the current options and address the overwhelming need for additional capital support to businesses.
"A broad-based, efficient recovery fund that does not pick winners and losers is the best path forward," the coalition stated in the letter. "Without such a fund, our retailers, theatres, restaurants and many other industries will be decimated — and our communities will be poorer both economically and culturally as a result.
Besides the ACA, ASA and TIA, coalition members include: Automotive Oil Change Association; California Automotive Business Coalition; and International Franchise Association.
In a prepared statement, ACA President Bill Hanvey said the group is "is leaving no stone unturned in its continued effort to identify opportunities to help our members, American businesses and American workers to get back on their feet and get back to work.
“Joining the coalition is another important step we have taken in order to secure more funding and resources that will be vital to keeping businesses within the auto care industry afloat during this unprecedented crisis.”