The American Bus Association – the largest trade association representing the motorcoach and group tour and travel industry – expressed disappointment today as the Senate failed in passing S. 4008, which would have given further COVID-19 economic assistance to small businesses, including the motorcoach, school bus and passenger vessel industries. If passed, the legislation would have provided an additional $2 billion to these industries.
“We are disappointed that S. 4008 did not receive the necessary votes to pass, as it provided much needed relief funding for small businesses still struggling from the pandemic – including the motorcoach, school bus and passenger vessel industries. However, we want to thank Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and all those who supported this bill for their efforts to assist America’s small family businesses,” said Peter Pantuso, president & CEO of the American Bus Association.
The motorcoach industry lost 82.6% of its business in 2020 because of the pandemic and another 62% in 2021, according to ABA Foundation research. “While the pandemic may be over for some industries, for ours it is not,” said Pantuso. “With concerns for still more variant waves to come and experiencing a massive driver shortage because of the lack of funding, we won’t see recovery until at least 2024 at the earliest. Many of our businesses may be gone by then.”