Marine industry mobilizes in response to storms

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Our marine trade associations and industry members are leading, engaged in post-hurricane responses in many ways to help dealers, manufacturers, marinas and suppliers recover from the impact of this year’s record-setting storms.

Here are some to note:

IBEX: The jam-packed International BoatBuilders’ Exposition & Conference, which wraps up today in Tampa, responded for attendees impacted by the storms with a special session Wednesday afternoon. It featured a panel of professionals who have extensive backgrounds in insurance claims, electrical systems, hazard mitigation, security and recovery issues. It provided answers and firsthand information from many experienced with disaster recovery and guidance on navigating a post-hurricane recovery.

Kudos for assembling this special session go to Professional BoatBuilder magazine, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the American Boat Builders & Repairers Association and the Association of Marina Industries, among others.

Pushing federal support: A push for the congressional delegations from Texas and Florida to support federal disaster resources for the boating industry impacted by the storms is underway by these groups: NMMA; Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association; Boating Trade Association of Metropolitan Houston; Association of Marina Industries; Marina Association of Texas; Marine Industries Association of South Florida; and the Marine Industries Association of Florida. See the full report in Wednesday’s Trade Only Today.

Keep Florida Fishing: Though not an MTA, the American Sportfishing Association is actively encouraging related businesses to provide needed help and information. A case in point is the Keep Florida Fishing program, directed by Gary Jennings. KFF has produced and is distributing the following information on potential resources worth investigating by those impacted:

  • Florida Small Business Emergency Loan Program: Impacted businesses may be eligible to receive financial assistance through the Florida Small Business Emergency Loan Program. It provides short-term, interest-free working capital loans intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer-term recovery resources. Important: Applications will be accepted from qualified Florida small businesses under this program only until Oct. 31. The program’s website has information on how to apply.
  • Disaster Unemployment Assistance program: Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available to Florida businesses and residents whose jobs were affected by Hurricane Irma. Important: The state Department of Economic Opportunity is accepting DUA applications until Oct. 16. For details on eligibility, click here.
  • You’re not affected, but want to help: South Florida Donation Drives are underway for those in that area who wish to contribute. Several members of the KFF coalition are accepting goods to be delivered to the Florida Keys. Critical items include water, generators, toiletries and paper products. Here are links for details on the drop-off locations and times and more items needed for each donation drive: Florida Sportsman Magazine Donation Drive; Crook and Crook Donation Drive; Bob Hewes Boats Donation Drive.
  • Red Cross donations: Red Cross employees and volunteers have been working tirelessly to provide shelter, meals and comfort to thousands of displaced Floridians and Texans. You can’t make a better donation than this one! Click here to make that donation today.

In general, no matter where you and/or your dealership is, you can easily help so many people. Please consider making a contribution to support the Red Cross and its post-hurricane efforts.

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