How Bad Is It? And What Can You Do?

Posted on March 10, 2009 by LCT Magazine

OPERATOR VIEW: Jonna Sabroff, the first vice president of the Greater California Livery Association and owner of ITS of Los Angeles, offered this firsthand assessment of industry challenges and the importance of associations in stabilizing the industry. . .

While this message is directed at CA operators, its approach and substance applies to operators everywhere. . .

Dear Limousine Owners:
 
There are 5,000 limousine companies in the State of California. I predict that 50% of the limousine companies in the state will go out of business in the next 12 months. The consequences to California will be the loss of 50,000 employees who now work directly for chauffeured transportation companies.
 
This, however, does not begin to count the greater costs: vehicles sales, vehicle modifiers, insurance brokers, mechanics, commercial real estate, computers, technology, office supplies, loss of tax revenue for payroll taxes, gasoline taxes, state and federal taxes, just to name a few.
 
I like to stay positive. I think we should take a clue from the citizens of Mesa, Arizona. Ask the National Limousine Association (NLA) on our behalf to work with our lobbyist in Washington D.C. to see what can be done to procure a stimulus package for our industry. Unemployment in California was about 10% in February and is rising.
 
There is a Greater California Livery Association (GCLA) meeting in San Francisco on March 18 at Ceasar’s Italian Restaurant at Fisherman’s Warf. Scott Solombrino, president of Dav El and an NLA board member, will be there to update us on union-driven “card check” legislation, an initiative being introduced by Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
 
Go to www.GCLA.org for more details. We also will strategize on how to handle the problems at SFO.
 
It is vital to the life of our industry that you show up. Come to the meeting on March 18 in San Francisco. Let’s all work to develop a strategy to help our industry survive.
 
Jonna Sabroff
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