I went to see Santa!

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It was a typically negative day. The news was filled with words like “tanking,” “meltdown,” and “recession.” I needed a lift. So I went to see Santa.

Yup, there he was, jolly and red and seated on his big chair between Sears and Chik-Fil-A at the mall. Seeing the long line, I realized I’d probably look odd waiting to sit on his lap. I didn’t want to pay for the picture, either! So, I decided to do what millions of other kids do – send him this, my Christmas Wish List:

Dear Santa,

I feel like we’re stuck in a mucky reindeer stall – you get the picture, I’m sure. All I want is better times for my industry and it seems you may be our best hope right now! So, here’s my Christmas list:

1. Have the financial community immediately begin making additional credit available to all levels of the boating industry – manufacturers, retailers and boat buyers. Yes, Santa, there are definitely buyers out there who want financing!
2. Persuade all manufacturers to use all their “Discover Boating” funds to enable their dealers to pay for exhibit space and/or offer cash incentives to prospects during the critical boat show season just ahead in January – March.
3. Pay all dealers their street labor rates for warranty work, including an appropriate reimbursement for reasonable diagnostic time.
4. See that all boat builders immediately start receiving the full cost savings on materials that should result from the big drop in crude oil prices.
5. Pay all dealers the normal and customary markup for any parts taken from dealer inventory to perform warranty service on manufacturer’s products.
6. Bring on enthusiastic buyers to the industry’s winter boat shows. And, while you’re filling their stockings, stuff some extra deposit money in their checkbooks!
7. Encourage the President-Elect to immediately follow through on his campaign promise to make emergency low-interest SBA loans for working capital and inventories available to small businesses.
8. Encourage manufacturers to produce new models at low prices to draw in entry level boaters again (definitely not last year’s models at next year’s prices!)
9. Clearly signal that, as an industry, we must recognize that much of our future success will depend on undertaking marketing efforts to African-Americans and Hispanics.
10. Use the current economic downturn to rid the industry of manufacturers and dealers who build or sell junk and fail to provide genuine value and service to customers.

Now, anyone want to add to my list? Please do. Santa could be listening, and a Merry Christmas to all.

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