Before anything else, I want to say that I hope you, your family and your staff are all well. As entrepreneurs and business owners, we are used to overcoming challenges, and our recovery from the trials brought on by COVID-19 will be no different. We will survive.
I have been lifted by so many bright spots that have radiated hope during this uncertain time. These have come from our employees, the leadership NATSO has provided, and the support we have shown each other as operators and industry suppliers.
Our employees are the real heroes as they continue to serve our nation’s professional drivers, delivering crucial personal protective equipment, medical supplies and food. Our country depends on the trucking industry to keep goods moving, and the trucking industry depends on truckstops and travel plazas to keep it moving. I think we are all thankful we were able to stay open.
I am certain we would not have been able to keep our doors open as seamlessly as we have if it hadn’t been for NATSO’s leadership. NATSO worked to ensure that the federal government deemed truckstops and travel centers essential businesses and were permitted to remain open. That designation came just as we were told we had to close restaurants in Iowa.
NATSO was educating lawmakers and government agencies about the significance of our industry before any of us could have realized how this was going to impact us. Had NATSO not taken an early lead, I am confident that many of us would not have taken action before it was too late, or we may have suspended operations thinking orders to cease business applied to us. I don’t think any of us as individual operators could have gotten the approval to stay open in the short amount of time NATSO did, and I am grateful for NATSO’s leadership on the issue.
I am also proud of the discussions we’ve been able to have with each other and the idea-sharing that has taken place. Everybody is truly working together for the good of the industry and the people we serve. So many operators have shared information on how they are protecting their employees and the customers, which benefits all of us.
NATSO’s Chairman’s Circle members have also shown their support. We had a great call with several industry suppliers that shared their insights and critical information that can help us make data-driven decisions as we move forward.
I am sure there is still more we can learn from this and each other. Let’s keep sharing ideas and supporting each other. Also, let us know how NATSO can help you during this time of crisis.
We’ve tackled so many issues as an industry over the years, but in my 30 years of involvement with NATSO, I’ve never seen us work this hard together. When this is over, and it will eventually be over, let’s not forget how we came together to support each other, our employees and our communities.
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