The majority of businesses in the specialty automotive industry continues to operate during the Coronavirus pandemic. Even with “shelter in place” rules in effect in many states, more than two-thirds of industry businesses have not closed any of their facilities during this time.
The findings are from a survey of SEMA member companies conducted April 1-7. SEMA has been working to identify areas to support the aftermarket industry during the pandemic as it moves towards recovery.
“The results of this survey show the resiliency of the specialty automotive industry and how it continues to push forward, working to move past the COVID-19 disruption,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. “We are using this feedback to further develop resources to help member businesses through this time of economic interruption.”
Most aftermarket industry facilities remain open under the “essential business” designation, and more than half of the industry’s employees continue to work from a company site, as a large number of production, technical, logistical, and retail positions can only be done at a jobsite.
The survey also found that most business owners maintain a positive outlook, with 87% indicating that they are “impacted short-term but will get through it.” The strength of the industry is depicted by the 82% of employees who continue working from at a jobsite or from home, and by the nearly 2,000 companies that have signed up to exhibit at this year’s SEMA Show.
“The aftermarket industry and our members remain positive, and are looking forward to opening back up in the months ahead and participating in a SEMA Show that will play a key role in launching a successful 2021,” said Kersting. “Now more than ever our priority for SEMA is clear: assuring the health, safety, and business continuity for our members, partners, employees, and the overall industry community.”
To further assist businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic, SEMA has created a dedicated webpage, www.sema.org/coronavirus, that includes up-to-date information about how each state defines “essential” businesses, SBA (Small Business Administration) emergency loans, paid sick and family leave, unemployment benefits, and more. As developments unfold, SEMA will continue to monitor and collect information and provide updates to the site.
“It is at times like these that the power of a collective can be most beneficial,” said Kersting. “I’m optimistic that by working together, we will continue to persevere and thrive.”