July '20

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66 • RV PRO • July 2020 RV PRO SPECIAL SECTION Good Deeds Amid COVID-19 Forest River Loans Trailers for Testing Forest River has stepped up to help its local communities face the threat of COVID-19. The Millersburg and Topeka plants in Indiana have loaned the Elkhart County Health Department three travel trailers for community consultation and COVID-19 testing in Mill- ersburg and in Nappanee. Forest River also donated 20,000 disposable masks to the Elkhart County Health Department. The company says it plans to continue supporting local communities in an effort to flatten the curve. RVDA of Canada Advocates and Educates During Crisis Since the coronavirus started showing up in Canada, the RVDA of Canada has been busy engaging government officials on numerous fronts. The following are some ini- tiatives the association has taken on behalf of members to help navigate and manage the current crisis: Advocating for Short-Term Business Financial Relief: A letter was sent to the Minister of Finance Bill Morneau asking for short-term business financial relief for RV dealers. The RVDA of Canada sug- gested that the stimulus program should include a short-term GST/ HST holiday on RV sales across Canada, as well as the reintroduc- tion of the Canada Secured Credit Facility, which was key to the automobile industry recovery post-financial crisis in 2008, and investment in public campground facilities. Advocating for Interest Relief on Financial Inven- tory Carrying-Costs: The RVDA of Canada, joined by other outdoor recreation sectors including: Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council, the Cana- dian Recreational Vehicle Association, the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association, the Canadian Camping and RV Council, the National Marine Manu- facturers Association, and the Motorcycle and Moped Industry Council, sent a letter to the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The group requested interest relief on the finan- cial carrying-costs of the extraordinarily large inventory build-up. Such an offset support for dealers could be based on a percentage of their interest carrying costs, or a percentage based on business downturn. Advocating for More Support for Commission Workers: The current baseline for pre-crisis remuneration under the federal wage subsidy is the average weekly remuner- ation paid between January 1 and March 15. Given the seasonality of the retail RV market, using commission workers' salaries during the winter months as a basis of comparison puts them at a massive disadvantage. The association asked members to contact their members of Parliament to advocate for a different baseline formula. Educating RVDA membership on the economic measures: The RVDA of Canada held a webinar for members to outline the federal government support measures for both businesses and individuals. RVDA also made a federal and provincial guide on the support programs available to RVDA's entire membership. A Guide to the Safe Operation of an RV Dealership During a Pandemic: The associa- tion developed a best-practices guide to help members adhere to guidelines and recommendations from official government and other reliable sources. This guide aims to provide RV dealers with recommended policies, processes, protocols and tools to safely restart their operations in conditions that meet health and safety requirements. Dealer Business Operations Survey: The RVDA of Canada held a dealer operations survey to gauge the impact that COVID-19 has had on their business opera- tions. Overall, more help was needed both from industry suppliers as well as the government. Go RVing COVID Assistance Template: With the help of Go RVing Canada, the Canadian industry developed a COVID response form for people in the front lines to fill out if they have a request for a unit. RVDA is working with the provincial and regional RVDAs to assist in sourcing units. If people are requesting campground of manufac- turer information the requests are sent to CCRVC and CRVA respectively.

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