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RICHMOND, Va.—The Virginia Limousine Association held its third membership meeting of the year on July 1 where leaders updated members on national lobbying efforts and discussed a range of issues.
In such close proximity to the nation’s capital, the Virginia association sent one of the largest contingents of operators to support the industry’s national lobbying efforts as part of the National Limousine Association’s annual Day on the Hill event May 21-22. VLA President Glenn Stafford also encouraged members to donate to the NLA PAC Fund.
On a state level, Stafford said the association works to maintain a good relationship with legislators. Operators in Washington D.C. keep a special status to run empty in HOV lanes, which can make a big difference on passenger-free trips through the gridlocked city. When new legislation was introduced that might have jeopardized that status, the VLA had the ear of legislators who supported their interests.
Typically a structured meeting, Stafford said that an open forum was held to discuss various issues, hear what membership is doing to generate revenue, and share ideas.
For example, in the past the association has encouraged operators to take advantage of Virginia’s many wineries by marketing wine tours in their region. One member, Betty Callahan of Bay Breeze Limousine Service in Virginia Beach, has begun to average one wine tour a month, which can be a boon to small-fleet operators. “I was happy to hear that,” Stafford said. “She comes to all of our meetings.
The meeting also featured a discussion on labor issues, such as overtime wages on tips and Obamacare, Stafford said. Given that many of the VLA members are small operators, not many will meet the 50-fulltime employee cutoff that requires large employers to supply health insurance for full-time employees or else face financial penalties.
— Denis Wilson, LCT East Coast Editor
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