Industry Joins Together to Protect Small Businesses, Jobs


This week the Senate rejected an amendment that would have jeopardized thousands of jobs and businesses. Amendment #1742 of the highway bill proposed by Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) would have granted state governments the ability to set up shop directly along the interstate right-of-way, giving states a major advantage over the travel plazas, truckstops, gas stations, convenience stores and restaurants at the exit interchanges. The Senate rejected it in an 86-12 vote.

“This marks a major victory for the 97,000 highway-based businesses across America and the 2 million people they employ,” said Lisa Mullings, president and chief executive officer of NATSO and a member of the Partnership to Save Highway Communities. “This veto sends a clear message that state DOTs cannot fix their state budget problems on the backs of small businesses or at the expense of American jobs and local communities."

Travel plaza operators across the country joined together in a grassroots effort to contact their lawmakers and encourage them to reject the amendment.

More than 60 organizations opposed Amendment #1742, upholding the longstanding federal law prohibiting the sale of food, fuel and other convenience items from Interstate rest areas. Allowing commercial rest areas would have transferred sales away from the current competitive environment at highway exits to such a degree that many exit-based businesses would not have been able to survive.

The Partnership to Save Highway Communities applauded the Senate for rejecting an amendment. The Partnership thanked Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer, Ranking Member Senator James Inhofe, Senator Max Baucus and Senator David Vitter, along with Senate Leadership and all the Senators who voted against the amendment, for supporting America's small businesses.

{HBMHighway Business Matters is a brief semi-monthly newsletter created exclusively for companies that provide products or services to the truckstop and travel plaza industry. Highway Business Matters will keep you informed on trends, tactics, and tips to help you connect to the $65 billion truckstop and travel plaza industry. 

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Amy Toner's photo

Amy Toner

Toner markets NATSO products, services and meetings. She is the content editor of NATSO's core websites, Stop Watch magazine and Highway Business Matters biweekly articles. In addition, she provides creative services across all departments. Toner joined NATSO in 2006. Prior to joining the association, she served as director of membership services at an association for ambulatory surgery centers. Toner lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and son. More
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