Motorcoach Awareness

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ABC Companies News & Updates

THE LATEST CERTS NEWS

As you are likely aware, the U.S. Department of Treasury has released guidelines for the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Grant Program. We strongly encourage you to review these guidelines (linked here for your convenience) as this program is uniquely designed to assist our industry. It is important to note that the Treasury will create a web-based application portal accessible through the CERTS webpage to allow eligible companies to submit a grant application. You will only have 4 WEEKS TO SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION ONCE THE APPLICATION PORTAL OPENS.  Therefore, your preparation is key to ensure you can submit all required documentation within the application period. We would recommend that you:

  • Prepare relevant data (in linked notice)
  • Obtain an appropriate ID (via ID.me)
  • Continually monitor website for application portal opening
  • Seek any necessary advice or support from your attorney or CPA

 

Below are some of the program highlights for your reference

  • A total of $2 billion will be available AS GRANT MONEY NOT A LOAN
  • The grants are NOT COMPETITIVE, and every organization that qualifies will receive their portion of the total fund
  • Applicant’s decline in revenue and total number of applicants will likely be the two key factors in determining an organizations grant amount
  • No more than $2 billion will be awarded and the funds will be allocated among the following industries:
    • Motorcoach services
    • School bus services
    • Passenger vessel transportation services
    • Pilotage vessel transportation services

 

Please note the following as you prepare to apply:

  • The application process will be on-line through the CERTS portal.
  • Once the portal opens, applicants will only have 4 weeks to apply.
  • To apply, a company representative will need to be registered with a username and password through the ID.me identity service.
  • Minimum information required to apply for the grant award can be found in these guidelines starting on page 11.

 

As many of us have worked tirelessly over the past several months to obtain government relief for our industry, it is our sincere hope that you will be able to benefit from this program. If we can be of any assistance, please reach out to your ABC Companies representative, as we are truly all in this together.

ABC COMPANIES LEADS CARAVAN OF MOTORCOACH OPERATORS TO INDUSTRY “ROLLING RALLY” IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Drivers Meet Up at Regional ABC Locations.

Independent motorcoach operators are meeting up at ABC Companies’ regional locations in Minnesota and Florida this week to caravan toward Washington, D.C. They will join over 500 motorcoach operators from all 50 states on May 13 for a rolling rally around the U.S. Capitol and National Mall to remind Members of Congress and the Trump Administration that the industry needs directed federal assistance.

In a show of rolling unity, independent motorcoach operators began banding together today to move out in unison as they trek toward the nation’s capital. In St. Paul, Minnesota, a caravan of 18 buses kick-started the event with a “drive-by” of the Minnesota State Capitol to create awareness with state and local representatives. Regional operators will also assemble at ABC Companies’ Winter Garden, FL facility, Tuesday May 12th at 5:30am, where the local police department will escort 20+ buses onto Florida’s turnpike. The caravan, led by ABC Companies plans to rendezvous with drivers from Tallahassee and Pensacola as they cross the state line in what will become over one continuous mile of motorcoaches steadily growing as they merge state-by-state with other participants, forming what will become more than 10 miles of motorcoaches along the highway.

The “Motorcoaches Rolling for Awareness” is a one day, one-time event, born of a grassroots movement of all-volunteer, self-organized motorcoach operators, industry suppliers and state associations, represented by a joint initiative between the nation’s two largest associations, American Bus Association and United Motorcoach Association. The motorcoach industry has laid off or furloughed more than 90 percent of its workforce nationally in the wake of COVID-19 and has requested $15 billion in federal grants and loan guarantees and modifications to Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Paycheck Protection Program. The rally is a positive event showcasing how big buses and small businesses move America. Buses will include informative signs about the motorcoach industry including: the groups they serve, the economic impact they make and the people they employ.

About the USA Motorcoach Industry:
Companies: nearly 3,000, the majority are family owned, small businesses.
Employees: nearly 100,000. Workforce includes owners, drivers, dispatchers, maintenance and repair, safety, cleaning crew, finance, administrative personnel, etc.
Buses Sitting Idle: nearly 36,000
Annual Passenger Trips: approx. 600 million, almost equal to all domestic airline trips combined.
More information available at www.busesmoveamerica.com.

ABC Companies is a leading provider to the transportation industry with diverse product and service offerings that cover a full spectrum of operational needs including new and pre-owned full-size highway coach equipment along with transit specialty vehicles.  ABC supports customers with a comprehensive after sale service network for service and repairs, collision services, extensive OEM and quality aftermarket parts needs for transit, motorcoach and heavy-duty equipment from ten strategically placed locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Additionally, private and municipal financing and leasing options are available through the company’s financial services group – one of the largest financial service providers within the industry.  For more information, contact ABC Companies at 800-222-2875 or visit the company web site at www.abc-companies.com

ABC Companies Spearheads Unprecedented Motorcoach Industry Rally

After seeing and listening to so many small business owners devasted by the COVID pandemic, ABC Companies was inspired to create a concept that would help them have a big voice with government. What initially began as a proposal shared with ABA and UMA, later married up with a very similar vision shared by the Ohio Motorcoach Association and the MR4A (Motorcoaches Rolling for Awareness) movement was born. Other key contributors including DATTCO and DC Trails quickly jumped onboard and helped to formulate ideas and strategize how bring the biggest industry social media “meet up” in history to life.

“The event coordination is being led by an all-volunteer group of individuals from multiple disciplines within the industry”, said Thom Peebles, Vice President, Marketing, ABC Companies. “When Roman Cornell (ABC President and Chief Commercial Officer) and I first developed the concept, it was simply to help our industry get back on the road. ABC and the Cornell family have long believed that taking care of customers takes care of everything else and we couldn’t just sit back and watch our industry, customers and friends be decimated by these shut downs”. According to Peebles, following the first meeting with ABA and UMA they were introduced to the President of the Ohio Motorcoach Association, Ben Bolog, who is an independent multi-generational operator and President of US Coach Tours.  Bolog was also simultaneously developing the same concept ABC had brought to the table. All parties quickly recognized the obvious synergies of bringing ABC and OMA together. As the teams synced up, the idea took root and all became hyper-focused on determining what it would take to pull it off.  After consulting with different operators and associations, it was clear that the industry was primed for the idea and needed a method to funnel into action. The initiative was agreed to, named and a website set up all in the same day. Since that time, Roman Cornell has generously contributed many staff members including Peebles who is spearheading much of the effort, to bring this event to life. Since the concept’s inception, key industry leaders including MCI, Prevost, and other OEMS have all contributed at various levels to ensure that the event accurately represents the industry as a whole and its many customers served. “This is the kind of grass roots movement my grandfather Clancy Cornell would have gotten behind and I think he would be proud of ABC working so hard and at this level to help our customers and their businesses. Making customers and our industry our priority is what makes ABC what it is today”, added Cornell. “When this pandemic first hit, I challenged my team to truly understand how we could help our customers and our industry as a whole. Since then, we have launched our CLEANS initiative of products and services to clean and sanitize motorcoaches and provide support elements to get the traveling public back on our customers coaches. When the concept of bringing miles of motorcoaches to D.C. as rolling billboards to educate and garner government and public support, in a way that was positive, I was all in”, he said.

“We think this will be the largest meet up in our industry’s history and we’re truly humbled to be a part of it. We look forward to seeing so many of our friends and operators on the road, as we roll together during the ultimate social distancing, awareness raising event”, concluded Peebles. ABC companies will be posting daily updates about the MR4A Event at: www.abc-companies.com and #dontmissourbus #busesmoveamerica #motorcoachesrolling4awareness #rolling4awareness #R4A2020. All industry participants and stakeholders are also encouraged to continue to post stories, videos, and pictures on our Facebook group page https://www.facebook.com/groups/806295186562891/

ABC Companies is a leading provider to the transportation industry with diverse product and service offerings that cover a full spectrum of operational needs including new and pre-owned full-size highway coach equipment along with transit specialty vehicles.  ABC supports customers with a comprehensive after sale service network for service and repairs, collision services, extensive OEM and quality aftermarket parts needs for transit, motorcoach and heavy-duty equipment from ten strategically placed locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Additionally, private and municipal financing and leasing options are available through the company’s financial services group – one of the largest financial service providers within the industry.  For more information, contact ABC Companies at 800-222-2875 or visit the company web site at www.abc-companies.com

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