Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), which represents thousands of travel professionals worldwide, has joined with the American Hotel & Lodging Association, U.S. Travel Association, International Franchise Association, along with trade associations representing wide swaths of the economy, to implore Congress to take swift action to provide additional relief to America’s small businesses.

In a letter sent in late September to the U.S. House of Representatives, the groups urge members to sign the discharge petition initiated by Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.). Acting on the discharge petition would compel the House to vote on H.R.8265, which is currently languishing in the Committee on Small Business. If passed, this legislation would amend the Small Business Act and the CARES Act to provide additional resources to businesses, including:

  • Offer qualifying businesses with 300 or fewer employees per location that have also experienced a 25 percent revenue reduction, with a second draw at Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from the $130 billion remaining in the available PPP program
  • Require businesses to use at least 60 percent of these PPP loans on payroll
  • Provide streamlined forgiveness of PPP loans of $150,000 or less
  • Enable 501(c)(6) organizations to access PPP loans

In addition to this effort, GBTA has been actively pushing for additional funding for air travel. As part of the first CARES Act, U. S. airlines agreed to forego layoffs in exchange for $25 billion in grants. However, this agreement expires September 30 and without a new deal guaranteeing additional funding by Oct. 1 – Thursday – mass layoffs of airline employees will likely result, adding to the already millions of U.S. workers laid off during the pandemic.


“At a time when so many of our GBTA member businesses are desperately struggling to survive the COVID-19 health pandemic and the subsequent economic fallout, we call on Congress to quickly provide access to additional capital that businesses, their employees and stakeholders need,” said GBTA Interim Executive Director Dave Hilfman. “This discharge petition, a subsequent vote on H.R.8265, and additional actions to protect the thousands of airline workers are these businesses’ last hope for additional relief this year.”

The full letter to the U.S. House of Representatives can be read here.

Visit gbta.org for more information.


ABA Marketplace Baltimore 2021

ABA Announces New 2021 Marketplace Dates
After a meeting with the American Bus Association (ABA) Board of Directors, ABA President & CEO Peter Pantuso sent a notification to members that the association’s annual Marketplace would be postponed until June. The event was scheduled for January in Baltimore.

“From talking to many of you, there was a concern January is too soon for you to be traveling and reconnecting with colleagues when much of the group travel business had not yet returned. … Therefore, the Board has voted to move the 2021 Marketplace and Busworld North America from January to June 18-22, 2021. Everyone believes that by June we will be well on our way to recovery,” Pantuso wrote in the letter. The full letter can be read here.

Visit marketplace.buses.org for more information on the 2021 Marketplace.

ALA Holds Informative Member Meeting
On September 22, the Arizona Limousine Association (ALA) hosted its most recent meeting via Zoom, which included association members, its Board of Directors, and several guest speakers. ALA Board Member Jim Luff of Ecko Worldwide/Chosen Payments moderated the event.

Arizona Limousine Association

Michael Barreto of Metropolis Passenger Logistics spoke about his Back in Black Limo Recovery Benchmarking Group that meets every Wednesday via a Zoom conference. The group includes participants from across America as well as from other countries who participate in industry benchmarking discussions. Lou Gastaldi of Garden State A-1 Car & Limousine Service share his tactics for riding out the COVID storm, based on his more than three decades of experience in the industry. He also shared a unique concept for selling or acquiring transportation companies that are win-win for both parties in a “rent-to-own” type of transaction. Read more about the meeting here.

Visit azlimousineassociation.com for more information.

FLA Shares Letter to Help Members With Loan Deferrals
Florida Limousine Association President Rick Versace of A1A Airport & Limousine Service recently sent a letter to members that can be used to help secure additional deferrals with banks and auto finance companies.

Florida Limousine Association

The letter read in part: “As much as we would like to see business return to normal immediately, this is not going to be fully realized until the first quarter of 2021. …We urge you to work out reasonable options with our members, whether an additional 90[-day] extension, interest-only payments, or partial payments. Extending deferrals to the end of the year is vital.  This would alleviate pressure on our operators, generate good will, and free up precious time that they could use to generate business. Our members appreciate the long-term relationships that they have built with their lenders and they look forward to a successful future.”

If you are a member of the FLA and would like the full letter, email rickversace@floridalimousine.com.

Visit floridalimousine.com for more information.

Jim Luff to Lead New GCLA Academy
GCLA Academy In an effort to increase educational offerings available to its members, the Greater California Livery Association (GCLA) is launching its new GCLA Academy, which is sponsored by Ecko Worldwide Transportation and will be led by 30-year industry veteran and Ecko’s Marketing Director Jim Luff.

The Academy—an exclusive members-only benefit—will consist of educational articles, how-to videos, and live presentations presented by subject experts. According to Luff, topics will include marketing, accounting, HR management, insurance, vehicle maintenance, and more.

Visit gcla.org for more information.

GOLA and LANJ Receive NLA Grants
The Greater Orlando Limousine Association (GOLA) and Limousine Association of New Jersey (LANJ) recently announced that they are among the recipients of grants from the National Limousine Association (NLA) rebate program. In a September update email blast GOLA President Cliff Wright of Royal Coach and Limousine revealed that the association received $3000. Similarly, LANJ President Jason Sharenow of Broadway Elite Worldwide sent an email to share the good news that LANJ received an $8500 grant.

NLA Grants

“The NLA’s support for us is remarkable,” wrote Sharenow. “It shows what a true partnership is all about. I am not trying to pick anyone’s pockets, especially the smaller operators, but now is a great time to join the NLA if you are not currently a member. They have a very attractive membership package, monthly payments, and starts very low for the smaller operator through their No Operator Left Behind initiative.”

GOLA and LANJ are just two of the state/regional associations that are receiving grants from the NLA. A total of 11 associations are sharing $50,000 dollars from the NLA’s rebate program. Since 2012, they have distributed $250,000.

Visit getaroundorlando.com or lanj.org for more information.

LITA and LANJ to Host Joint Meeting on 9/30



The Limousine Association of New Jersey (LANJ) and the Long Island Transportation Association will be hosting a joint Zoom meeting on Wednesday, September 30 at 4 pm. ET. The meeting will host several guest speakers, including Edward Kaye, co-founder of Advantage Funding and Access Commercial Capital and currently with Schickler Kaye, who will share ideas on how to communicate with financing companies. Additionally, Barry Green and Brian Ludlow from Alternative Claims Management will speak about pursuing Loss of Revenue on past “not at fault” accidents.

All are welcome to attend via Zoom. Meeting ID: 428 282 9893 Passcode: 898682


The majority of Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) companies expect their employees to return to in-person events in 2021. Almost half (45 percent) expect attendance to resume in the first half of the year, according to the latest poll conducted between September 15-19, 2020, by GBTA, with an additional 25 percent expecting a return to in-person events in the second half of 2021.


While most do not expect their company to host in-person meetings, events, or conferences through the remainder of this year, there is growing optimism for 2021, with 37 percent expecting to host some or many meetings or events in Q1, rising to 61 percent by Q2. An average of one in four GBTA members still remain unsure, echoing the general “wait and see” approach due to the current uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

Expectations on company plans to return to office vary with 1 in 5 (20 percent) of GBTA companies reporting a return to office in 2020. One in three (35 percent) plan to return in the first half of next year including 28 percent who expect to return in Q1, but one in five 21 percent are still undecided. The poll also finds that 16 percent of member companies have already returned to the office.

Looking at factors to influence the return to the office and in-person events, half (52 percent) say an effective vaccine for COVID-19 would have the most influence on the planning process. Just under a quarter of respondents (24 percent) would like to see decreased COVID-19 transmission rates worldwide. Fewer respondents requested increased coronavirus testing and rapid results reporting worldwide (8 percent) and slowing unemployment and growth in global economies (3 percent).

Dave Hilfman GBTA GBTA Interim Executive Director Dave Hilfman

Throughout the pandemic, the role of a travel manager and the necessity for a managed travel program has been high on the boardroom agenda. The GBTA poll reveals half (48 percent) of GBTA companies say their senior managers value a managed travel program “much more” or “more” than they did before COVID-19. This sentiment is consistent with key corporate stakeholders including human resources or risk management, with half (51 percent) of GBTA companies reporting that these stakeholder value the managed travel program “much more” or “more” than before the pandemic.

“While there is no doubt the current global uncertainty around a second wave is delaying the return to business travel, the outlook for 2021 is looking more positive with companies planning a return to face-to-face meetings and events. It is encouraging to see businesses planning their return to office in a careful and safe way” said Dave Hilfman, the interim Executive Director of GBTA.

View the entire poll results here

GBTA conducted its eleventh poll of members across the globe from September 15-19, 2020. A total of 1,364 responses were received.

Visit gbta.org for more information.