WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — The motorcoach industry has been one of the few to not receive COVID-19 relief funding and local company Clarence Henry Coach is waiting for support.
On May 13, more than 1,000 motor coaches from all 50 states traveled to the nation’s capital asking for support from Congress following economic hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The statewide shutdown in March caused companies like Clarence Henry Coach to immediately feel the impacts.
According to Clarence Henry Coach General Manager Krista Jones, the North Country company has been desperately waiting for relief. Within the first week of the shutdown, the company lost over $100,000.
Senior trips were cancelled, education transportation was no longer needed, organizational fundraisers were postponed. Jones stated that their busiest months, April and May, were at a standstill.
Motorcoach companies across the nation, including Clarence Henry are pressing Congress to pass the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services Act of 2020. The legislation would provide almost $15 billion in funding for motorcoach operators, as the industry is not predicted to recover for another two years.
CERTS could reimburse companies for economic hardships, but could cover rent, vehicle insurance, leasing payments, increased costs for proper sanitizing, cleaning, and supplies, and help plan for the future.
“We have to sit here, and we have to wait,” Jones said. “It hurts every time I walk past those big white buses.”
Although Clarence Henry Coach has recently only helped with military transport, the company remains in service, “ready-to-go” for all, and is running with updated health and safety regulations.
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