In a letter to the National Governors Association, National Association of Counties, US Conference of Mayors and National League of Cities, ABA joined the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association; Auto Care Association; American Trucking Associations; Automotive Oil Change Association; Automotive Service Association; Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association and the Tire Industry Association urged their members to ensure that state and local policies safeguard the ability of essential businesses to continue operations.
The letter said:
Our organizations recognize that it is now necessary to curtail and even suspend many aspects of commerce to slow the spread of the virus in order to protect the nation’s most vulnerable and to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. Such decisive and in many cases unprecedented action will ultimately mitigate the direct and indirect economic harm caused by the spreading disease.
We respectfully urge the careful implementation of policies that restrict movement and business operations to ensure that businesses that provide critical support for public care and well-being are excluded from such restrictions. Specifically, as state and local governments define essential activities that will be protected, it is important to also safeguard businesses that enable those activities to be conducted in a safe and efficient manner.
Essential tasks rely on safe and efficient transportation. Government vehicle fleets (local, state, and federal) and other essential personnel (doctors, nurses, healthcare provider, grocers etc.) depend on businesses that support the safe operation of the transportation sector. Public and private transportation services are necessary to ensure the public may complete essential trips, including purchasing food and medicine or caring for loved ones. Businesses that provide the support or supplies necessary to operate must therefore also be deemed essential.
Motor vehicle supply and repair facilities provide vehicle and roadside services essential to maintaining critical operations and the flow of commerce. In addition to gas stations, it is imperative that motor vehicle supply, motor vehicle repair and related facilities be encouraged to support the safe and efficient operation of transportation services. Community members providing critical care and services should be assured they won’t be impeded by a flat tire or vehicle problems that could be quickly addressed by motor vehicle care professionals. Our industry stands ready to help ensure aid can reach the places it is most needed.
We understand your organizations are doing everything possible to support the nation’s state and local leaders in this important time. We respectfully urge you to help coordinate state and local policies that take into account the important role of motor vehicle supply and repair facilities and ensure these essential businesses remain available to support the work of other crucial businesses.