Thursday, May 28, 2020

NELANELA Board Member Brett Barenholtz On Tuesday, March 10, the New England Livery Association (NELA) held their second quarter meeting at Spinelli’s restaurant. More than 50 members and guests were in attendance, including Mass. Senator Joseph Boncore (D). Sponsors for the event included Dedicated Funding, Commonwealth Worldwide, BostonCoach, Center Insurance, Royale Limousine, Great Bay Limousine, and Transport the People.

After a short cocktail hour NELA Executive Director Rick Szilagyi welcomed the evening’s first guest speaker, Massachusetts State Senator Joseph Boncore (D). As side chair of the transportation committee, Boncore is an ally of NELA and supportive of their battles with TNC. Recently, Boncore introduced legislation S.2032 that would require all for-hire drivers to be part of a drug and alcohol screening program. Szilagyi testified on the bill on January 17 at the state house, and it remains in committee. Boncore is also supportive of the association’s move to make fingerprinting mandatory for all TNC drivers.

After some words from the sponsors, NELA Board Member Brett Barenholtz of Above All Transportation/Boston Car delivered an address to the association entitled Crisis Management in the Livery Industry.

“On Monday night, Brett called me and asked if he could have a few minutes to talk to the members about what they can do to help themselves during the coronavirus,” says Szilagyi. “As the NLA Secretary, he’s really our local conduit to what’s happening nationally. He said that this isn’t the first time we’ve been challenged, but it’s really about managing these tough times.”

NELA Barenholtz’s well-received presentation focused on ways that operators can cut costs during the unprecedented work stoppage caused by the pandemic. He advised members to contact their lenders, whether it’s insurance, auto loans, or real estate, and work with them to reduce or defer payments. Barenholtz also advised the operators to manage employee schedules to reduce payroll and even consider condensing hours of operation. All was not gloom and doom during the presentation, as Barenholtz reassured the attendees that there are still opportunities for work during this time, particularly with clients reluctant to fly or use public transportation. Calming your clients and informing them about what you are doing to mitigate transmission of COVID-19 can help in maintaining their business.

The evening’s final presentation was from Nadine Boone and Peter Kontakos of the Federal Small Business Association, who offered methods on how operators can get government contracts. Their talk showed the attendees how to create a profile in the SAM.gov system.

As is custom to NELA meetings, before the meeting concluded, there were several raffles. A 50/50 prize of $165 was won by Antonio Giorgi of T-Mobile. NELA Vice President Joe Cardillo of AOT Global was the winner of a Bose sound bar, while Desiree McCoy of Great Bay Limousine won a Google Home device. Lastly, Dan Morgan of Dedicated Funding won an assortment of scratch-off lottery tickets.

Visit nelivery.org for more information.

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