ARIZONA ARVC: APRIL 2020 NEWSLETTER

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GOVERNOR DUCEY DECLARES EMERGENCY IN ARIZONA

ARIZONA ARVC PROVIDES ONLINE RESOURCES FOR PARK OPERATORS

Governor Doug Ducey issued a Declaration of Emergency and an Executive Order on March 11th to provide health officials with tools and guidance to combat the continued spread of the novel coronavirus, which is known as COVID-19.

But as of April 1, Arizona’s privately owned campgrounds and RV parks faced no restrictions in their operations other than to comply with social distancing guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, on April 3, Gov. Ducey included campgrounds and RV parks as essential businesses.

“Everybody’s open,” said Jo Anne Mickelson, Arizona ARVC’s co-executive director. “The only businesses that have closed are bars and gymnasiums. Restaurants can stay open so long as they only provide food to go.”

However, because conditions are changing rapidly, Arizona ARVC recommends that park operators regularly monitor the RV Industry Association’s Covid-19 Resources Page, which provides links to the most up to date information on COVID-19 actions and recommendations at the state and federal levels.

RVIA has also gathered links to guidelines for businesses and employers; environmental cleaning and disinfection recommendations; as well as industry talking points involving COVID-19, which you can use with reporters if you get calls.

The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) has also developed a special page with links and information to help park operators navigate the COVID-19 crisis. (https://www.arvc.org/Blog/1084/Coronavirus-What-You-Can-Do-to-Protect-Yourself-Your-Employees-and-Campers#essential)

The ARVC page, titled “What You Can Do to Protect Yourself, Your Employees and Campers,” is updated daily and includes information on multiple topics, including emergency plans for RV parks and campgrounds; essential vs. non-essential businesses; ordering supplies; reaching customers; disaster assistance criteria; and industry advocacy.

ARVC is also hosting webinars each week involving a variety of subjects such as SBA loans, emergency planning, and marketing during the COVID-19 crisis. You can sign up to attend these webinars and access recordings of previous webinars through ARVC’s COVID-19 web page.

Meanwhile, RVIA is engaging state officials, Congress, including RV Caucus Co-Chairs, Representative Jackie Walorksi (R-2-IN) and Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), and the Vice President’s Coronavirus Taskforce to recognize how imperative it is that RV businesses be classified as essential, allowing RV dealers to remain open and able to provide RVs for the emergency response and RV parks and campgrounds to continue serving their customers, many of whom are traveling medical personnel.

SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE UNDER THE CARES ACT

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Government stimulus dollars and various tax credit programs are now available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act. These programs are designed to help small businesses manage expenses and keep workers employed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Global Insurance Brokerage Hub International held a free webinar April 2, which was designed for employers with less than 500 employees who want to understand the new small business forgivable loan program.

Topics covered include the federal government’s:

  • Paycheck Protection Program
  • Employee Retention Credit Program
  • Sick and Family Leave Tax Credit
  • Unemployment Expansion Program

Global Insurance Brokerage Hub anticipates high demand for these progams, so early signups are important. Additional information is available through the company’s Coronavirus Resource Center

The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business also has information on the CARES Act, which is being jointly implemented by the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Treasury Department.

SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION ASSISTANCE

The federal Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a variety of loan programs to help businesses recover from disasters, including the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, which provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue. Small business owners are also eligible to apply for loan advances of up to $10,000. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid, according to the SBA.

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The SBA also offers an Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program, which allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loan or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for a decision and disbursement of an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for this bridge loan.

Visit the SBA website for more information about the types of assistance available.

ARIZONA ARVC RESCHEDULES ITS SPRING CONVENTION TO 2021 DUE TO CORONAVIRUS CONCERNS

Arizona ARVC has rescheduled its annual spring convention to April 2021.

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“The reason is that the immediate future is uncertain right now and we didn’t want to set a new date and then have to cancel again,” said Jo Anne Mickelson, Arizona ARVC’s co-executive director.

Arizona ARVC had previously planned to hold its convention April 21-22 at Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino in Laveen, outside of Phoenix. New convention dates will be announced in the coming months.

In the meantime, park operators are encouraged to compete in the association’s annual awards competition, which is being rescheduled for next year.

Award categories include:

— Park of the Year:  This award is given annually to parks that deliver extraordinary guest experiences as a result of all-around excellence in operations, professionalism, marketing, customer service and industry involvement.

— The Jack Denton Memorial Award: Arizona ARVC’s most prestigious award is presented in honor of Jack Denton, a campground and RV park industry pioneer who founded the Flagstaff KOA and helped establish the precursor of Arizona ARVC, the Arizona Travel Parks Association (ATPA), as well as the National Campground Owners Association (NCOA), which later became the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).

— Supplier of the Year: Presented to the supplier who provides exemplary products, service and support for the association and its members.

Award applications will be emailed to members in the coming weeks. If you don’t receive one, please email Jo Anne at arizonaarvc@aol.com.

NEW LEGISLATION WOULD REQUIRE PARK OPERATORS WITH PARK MODELS TO ATTEND CLASSES OR FACE FINES

Arizona lawmakers are considering legislation promoted by Manufactured Housing Communities of Arizona (MHCA) that would require operators of parks with park models to obtain several hours of educational training in various aspects of park management.

Park operators who fail to complete the required classes could face fines.

HB 2633 was initially on track to take effect this fall, but the COVID-19 outbreak will likely delay a vote on this legislation until 2021.

“HB 2633 is still in committee, so we suspect that it will not be read until the next legislative session in January 2021,” said Jo Anne Mickelson, Arizona ARVC’s co-executive director.

Arizona ARVC President John Sheedy joined Jo Anne and Harvey Mickelson in a meeting with Susan Britton of MHCA a few weeks ago to discuss their proposed legislation and its impact on park operators.

“The meeting we feel was very productive.  I do feel that we can work with them,” Jo Anne Mickelson said, noting that Arizona ARVC would have an opportunity to influence the course content and requirements.

“Anyone who handles day to day management of a park, such as a  manager or owner, will be required to take a six-hour class from date of employment and an additional six hours of class within the first two years after the initial classes.  Thereafter, six more hours of class time every two years. The classes will be based on the lifestyle of an RV Park.  There is no set agenda for classes.  It can range from legislative to septic systems to asphalt to customer service.”

The person taking the class will receive a certificate of completion that needs to be posted in the park’s office in full view of the tenants or guests.  It will be signed and presented by AZ ARVC directors.

If a park is found in violation by the AZ Housing Authority, they will have six months to correct the violation and take the six hours of classes.  If they don’t comply, a $500 per month penalty will be assessed.

Parks required to take these classes are those that have four or more park models or four or more park model sites in the park. If a park doesn’t have any park models or mobile homes, they are not required to take the classes.

“We plan on offering a full day of classes that will satisfy this requirement by the state the day before our convention begins,” Mickelson said. “The cost that MHCA assesses is $85 for members $198 for non members.  We are working with them so that if our RV parks who want to take MHCA-sponsored classes and are members of AZ ARVC,  hey will get to attend MHCA classes as members and pay member prices of $85 and vice versa for MHCA members.  We will have more information about this in the future.”

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