Resources to Help Auto Repair Owners Navigate COVID-19
Shop owners all over the world are facing similar challenges due to the effects of Coronavirus. To help you find some of the best insights in one place rather than having to gather them yourself, we’ve aggregated useful articles and organized them by topic so you can quickly access the information you need. Please keep in mind that this list was put together March 2020. The information may have changed since then.
The TM-500 is a real-time look at the auto repair shop industry. The TM-500 tracks the past 30-days of ARO and Car Count from 500 auto repair shops across the US and Canada, and updates every 15 minutes. We recently added a Regional Maps feature that shows industry performance by state and region.
This page is a resource center that monitors and updates readers on the rapidly emerging COVID-19 rules, restrictions, orders and guidance. These range from business restrictions and gathering limitations to full-scale shelter-in-place orders and the expiration of these orders.
Tips & Inspiration
This is our blog that gives 7 tips for adjusting shop operations to be conscious and compliant with social distancing practices.
This Ratchet + Wrench blog gives shop owners 10 tips to protect your employees, customers, and business.
This Autoshop Solutions blog covers the dos and don'ts of marketing during COVID-19.
Bernard Swiecki, assistant director for business group at the Center for Automotive Research, shares several insights for shop owners in this blog from Fender Bender.
While this blog from Atomic focuses on marketing for any business right now, many of these tips are useful for auto repair shops looking to stay top-of-mind for their guests.
This blog also gives general marketing tips, but includes useful tips to keep in mind when it comes to empathizing with guests and not capitalizing on a crisis.
This blog from Spectrio was written before the COVID-19 pandemic, but includes some great marketing strategies for auto repair shops nonetheless. Some tips that require physical engagement like hosting community events may need to be reimagined as live streams, but these should give you some good ideas.
This is another blog that was published before COVID-19, but has some useful tips when it comes to getting your shop to rank well on search engines like Google. Now’s a better time than ever to work your way up in the search rankings.
This blog from Design Hill was also published before COVID-19, but includes social media strategies that still apply today.
This blog, published on April 22nd, 2020, gives auto repair shop owners the latest insights regarding the second round of Paycheck Protection Program funding for small businesses across the United States.
This blog gives guidance to shop owners when it comes to uplifting their team (and themselves) as we navigate current challenges.
This blog gives insight into what to expect in the months ahead based on economic history, and outlines a strategy for shop owners to adapt in the face of significant changes.
This blog discusses 8 strategies that shop owners may be able to leverage to maximize business and explore new opportunities.
Financial Assistance Resources
If you want to know if your banking partner has programs that may be able to assist you, Bankrate has compiled a comprehensive list.
If you’re an ASA member, you may want to check out what they’re doing to protect their member’s interests. They are also one of the most up-to-date resources related to the status funding for automotive repair shops.
The Small Business Administration might be worth checking out if you need a small business loan. While some restrictions apply, some rules have been loosened: interest rates are capped and companies will not have to provide all assets as collateral. In most cases, up to eight weeks of payroll can be covered without repayment.
If you want to know if your banking partner has programs that may be able to assist you, Forbes has compiled a comprehensive list.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was recently put into effect. The U.S Department of Labor’s website has all the details regarding employer-paid leave requirements. If you’re wondering how this will affect getting money to your team during this time, check it out.
U.S. Department of Labor—Unemployment InformationIf someone in your household or network needs to file for unemployment, here is a helpful resource from the Department of Labor you may be able to use to get started more easily.
Useful Information to Share with your Guests
While your guests may be driving less right now, they should still keep their cars maintained, which might mean visiting your shop. This blog from Edmunds has a lot of useful tips and advice that you might want to share with guests via email, social media, or on your own blog.
Consumer Reports also recommends that drivers keep their vehicles maintained in case of an emergency and to not let their cars sit idle. While this may or may not include going to the auto repair shop, it’s still good advice to give your guests so that they know you’re looking out for them and their rides.
What Other Shops are Doing
Christian Brothers Automotive was on top of not only implementing social distancing procedures but also letting their customers know. This post on their website is a great example of how an auto repair shop franchise can be transparent with customers about health and safety practices.
This news story from CBS is a good example of an auto repair shop going above and beyond to take precautions and protect their team and guests by offering free disinfectant services.
Health & Safety
Here is some helpful advice from the Center for Disease Control on staying safe and clean no matter who you are.
In addition to industry-specific tips on keeping your shop clean, the CDC has posted guidelines for businesses in all industries.
The World Health Organization has extensive, regularly updated information on the latest Coronavirus developments.