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***Towing Industry Announcement***

***Towing Industry Announcement***

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING:

TRAO AND APTO are announcing that the Ohio Towing and Recovery Legislative Committee (OTRLC) will be focused on communications to the industry about how the current COVID-19 crises will impact Ohio Towing and Recovery Companies.  We will be sending direct communications to all Ohio towers that contain the most relevant information and resources available to your business. The goal of the OTRLC is to ensure your business can continue to operate during the crises and everyone in the industry is up to date with actions and resources of the state and federal government.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FOR EMPLOYEES

FOR BUSINESS OWNERS/EMPLOYERS: Please review the links below to be up to date on allCoronavirus and Unemployment Insurance Benefits.  This link also includes a very important form you can distribute to employees that may need to file for unemployment benefits that will help expedite the claim process.  The link also includes an informative question and answer section that provides vital information for Ohio employers so you can help any employees that may be impacted.  Please DO NOT HESITATE to have any employees that will be laid off file for benefits immediately.

http://jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/CoronavirusAndUI.stm?fbclid=IwAR0vVq-V4sxWXseLbWRvX4AKm0S2t6RZeq8Y8f7dXTl0nIzbfgAvvWfdMHc

FOR EMPLOYEES:  Any employee that needs to file for unemployment benefits can apply directly here:

www.unemployment.ohio.gov

STATE AND FEDERAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Today, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has announced he has requested federal assistance for small businesses in Ohio.  The Governor has officially applied to the U.S. Small Business Administration to qualify the state of Ohio for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.  This federal program will enable small businesses and non-profits throughout the state impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 to apply for low-interest loans up to $2 million in assistance that can provide economic support to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.  The Economic Injury Disaster Loans may be used by Ohio small business owners and non-profits to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible.

Once the state is qualified for the program, which we anticipate will be by Friday, information and applications can be accessed at:

https://www.sba.gov

2019 TAXES

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin authorized the deferral of $300 billion dollars in payments to the IRS.  In simple terms, please make every effort to file your taxes online if possible.  However,  IF YOU OWE MONEY to the IRS, you will receive an automatic 90 day extension to make any payments.  If you are due a return, proceed to file as soon as possible so your return can be processed and returned to you as soon as possible

BMV CLOSURES

Today, Governor Mike DeWine announced the closure of most Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ deputy registrar facilities. The governor also ordered all barbershops, hair dressers, nail salons and tattoo parlors to close at the end of business Wednesday for the foreseeable future.

While 181 deputy registrar locations will close at the end of business Tuesday, five will remain open to continue issuing and renewing commercial driver’s licenses to ensure that food and medical supplies can continue moving, he said. For non-commercial drivers, services will be available online or through the mail.Gov. DeWine said he will call on the General Assembly to pass legislation to provide a grace period for individuals who cannot renew their driver’s licenses. He is also asking law enforcement to not issue tickets for expired licenses.  Will we send detailed information about the about the facilities that will remain open as soon as it is released

PUCO

The PUCO announced today granted HOS relief to intrastate trucks hauling fuel.   The relief is effective immediately and it expires at 11:59pm on March 27, 2020.  Please note carriers are NOT exempt from any other motor carrier safety regulations and should continue to maintain records of duty status and take all measures to ensure that drivers have the ability to safely operate their commercial vehicles.  This extension of HOS relief is in addition to the exemption earlier this week for drivers operating commercial motor vehicles transporting relief supplies including consumer goods and medical supplies within the state of Ohio.  

PRICE GOUGING

Ohio Attorney General David Yost has announced that any price gouging during the disaster and state of emergency will not be tolerated and reported instances will be dealt with by the Attorney General.  We are asking the entire industry to please be aware that price gouging during a state of emergency will only give the industry a black eye, and cases that are reported may lead to prosecution by the Attorney General.  Towing and recovery is a vital public service and we are working hard to ensure our businesses can continue to work during the crises.  We need to pull together, keep our businesses open, operating and working together to ensure our services our available when called to serve.

We are currently working with the Governor’s Office and federal government contacts to ensure the towing and recovery industry is recognized and protected from additional emergency declaration and orders, and that the industry can continue to provide vital public services during the crisis.  We will continue to communicate all important information to the industry as timely as possible.  If there are any concerns you feel need to be addressed, please contact:  Tug Brock (autoworks4090@gmail.com) or Dave Clark (daveclark.uts@gmail.com).     

Joseph M. Hollabaugh, Jr. | Shumaker
Vice President
Huntington Center, Suite 2400
41 South High Street | Columbus, Ohio  43215-6104
Direct 614.628.6813 |Fax 614.463.1108
jhollabaugh@shumakeradvisors.com | bio | LinkedIn

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