Industry Supports Disaster Infrastructure Bill

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Many dealerships are small mom-and-pop operations.

Many dealerships are small mom-and-pop operations.

The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas is drumming up support for the PREPARE Act, a bipartisan bill that would provide resources to help small businesses invest in disaster-resilient infrastructure.

“This is a big priority for our dealers,” MRAA government relations manager Adam Fortier-Brown told Trade Only Today.

Some 40 businesses and state marine trade associations signed a letter to elected officials supporting HR 7552, the Providing Resources for Emergency Preparedness and Resilient Enterprises Act.

“Small businesses depend on robust infrastructure to be able to make their living,” stated the letter to Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

“Small businesses in rural, vulnerable areas often face the brunt of natural disasters like flooding, wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes and tornados, leaving them damaged and unable to operate. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, roughly 40 to 60 percent of small businesses never reopen following a disaster,” the letter stated.

“At a time when the entire nation is being hammered by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the added damages from flooding will worsen the situation for already struggling small businesses and communities,” the letter said.

Providing relief that will allow small businesses to proactively invest in infrastructure is an “important part of the nation’s economic recovery as well as a larger portfolio of investment in climate resilient roads, bridges, shorelines, and recreation infrastructure to protect our communities from more frequent flooding and storm damage that have cost the U.S. over $800 billion in the last decade,” the letter said.