Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19
As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.
If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.
If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.
With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.
Show Me The Money
Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the PPP loan application, and talk to your banker today. The Treasury Department has issued a useful fact sheet on what the loan covers.
In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, we want to remind you that the Small Business Association has also created Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that are designed to quickly send $10,000 to distressed companies. The EIDL application is found online and will offer assistance loans for up to $2 million.
But is there any work?
It may feel like there is no work to be done, but as Ann Pilkington who works for Freedom Taxicab in Des Moines, IA told KCCI De Moines, “The main thing is getting people to their appointments because there are some people that wouldn’t last, like a dialysis patient or something, they wouldn’t make it without those med changes or that treatment on themselves.”
Of course, please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and keep your car clean for at-risk passengers going to and from doctor appointments. It is important to protect yourself and your passengers while working during COVID-19.
Below is a short list of 5 revenue generating ideas you may be able to implement using your existing policy.
Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:
1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services
This is probably the largest source of transportation needed right now. People still need to get dialysis, chemotherapy and other types of medical treatments during COVID-19. If you haven’t already added this service to your taxi platform, now is the time.
Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.
- LogistiCare – one the largest Non-Emergency Medical Transportation brokers in the United States. They have a presence in almost every state within the US.
- EpicMD – NEMT trip provider with operations nationwide.
- OneCall – NEMT broker that serves globally for everything from ambulatory ground transportation to air ambulances.
- MTM – This is a popular NEMT provider with our existing client base. They have a presence is 75% of the country from coast to coast. They have especially higher trip volume within the East Coast states.
- Acces2Care – Servicing 29 states, this program helps to dispatch NEMT trips through their parent company AMR which handles the emergency calls. All NEMT calls get sourced through Access2Care.Please note: accommodating passengers who are not ambulatory may not be permitted with your current policy.
2. Courier & delivery companies
Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well, although—fair warning—both companies are facing criticism over employee safety. Some couriers are also hiring.
*No delivery of hazardous or illegal materials are permitted. If you are considering cannabis delivery in legal states, we do have coverage for that with multiple markets. Click HERE to request a quote.
3. Grocery & medicine delivery
Grocery stores are your friends. Major chains such as Kroger, Meijer, and Safeway are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff; ditto for regional chains such as Raley’s. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart are also hiring.
While most taxi policies only allow a certain amount of TNC transport (if any at all), many of our clients have policies that are flexible with allowing drivers to use multiple sources of dispatch to generate revenue. Many drivers are staying home but people without their own sources of transportation still need to go grocery shopping, pick up medications from pharmacies and drop off supplies to loved ones. And those in the medical field are opting for a more private form of transportation instead of their usual train or bus ride to and from work.
5. Pre-arranged, black car services (utilizing vehicles already within your fleet)
Again, as mentioned above, utilizing your current clientele database to advertise a clean, safe mode of transportation in these trying times is key. Send out texts letting people know you are working and available. Many assume everything is closed. But although people aren’t travelling through airports like they used to – there is clientele that still rely on taxi and black car services to get to the doctor or grocery store. There are doctors and nurses in urban areas who need to get to work but can’t take mass transit.
Be there to help them, they will remember that you helped them even after “everything goes back to normal.”
Not All Policies are Created Equal
Not all insurance companies allow you to do all the types of trips listed above on ONE policy. But WE do. If you don’t already accommodate these types of trips and want to, please contact us to see if your current policy allows for medical and courier trips.
Also, if you are high risk or live with someone who is – please take precaution in working during these times. Working through a pandemic is not for everyone but if you are willing and able – your customers will be forever grateful to you for helping them out when they needed it most!
Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business? Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!