Tuesday, 21 April 2020 12:18

Most Shops Weathering The Storm---So Far

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Autobody News used its 19,000 shop email subscribers and social media channels to conduct a survey of collision shops across the country April 17-19,  to see how they were coping with the COVID 19 pandemic.

The majority of shops responding were independently owned singe-point shops, perhaps the most vulnerable to volatile market swings. Despite that, and a wide range of available work (most shops operating at 25% to 75% capacity), most seem to be faring reasonably well.


The majority of shops (59%) have not laid off any workers, though 21% have laid off three-quarters of their people.


Most shops have taken a number of precautions to protect employees and customers including using gloves and masks and frequent hand-washing.


It is surmised that not many shops think the pandemic situation will last very long because only 19% have taken on work other than traditional collision repair.


The majority of shops have applied for financial assistance through the government’s CARES Act, but have not received their funds yet. While the initial $349 billion alloted to the Paycheck Protection Program was exhausted April 16, the White House and Congress struck a deal April 21 to replenish it. Small business owners are encouraged to apply through their banks as soon as possible.


See graphs generated using the full survey results.


Wayne Stevens, owner of Stevens Collision in western New York, is a single-point shop, certified with FCA, Hyundai and Kia, but with no DRP arrangements. At present he hasn’t laid off any employees because he has a two-week backlog of work.


“My father always told me, ‘Take care of the people that come through your door, no matter what they want, and you’ll build your business,’” Stevens said.


Doug Hassell owns Hassell Auto Body on Long Island in New York, another single-point shop that has been in business since 1963, and has enough work to stay busy---so far.

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