With professional sports being suspended, concerts and other events canceled, and a national emergency being declared in the United States and in several other nations, it’s clear that COVID-19 is going to have a substantial impact within the rental industry.
ARA’s Rental Pulse is reporting large numbers of cancellations or modifications to rentals and purchase orders throughout the rental world – events companies are reporting greater numbers of cancellations and equipment companies are reporting heavier revenue impacts.
The bad news for the rental industry is that so many businesses are small, family businesses – people for whom an extended period of “social distancing” could be devastating. It’s also a transitional period for many – throughout the northern U.S., for example, many rental businesses haven’t yet hired for their busy season.
Here’s how people in the rental industry are responding to COVID-19 as of now:
Many people are recommending simply going above and beyond their typical processes with sanitizing and washing hands. They’re also considering using ozone generators when people, pets and plants are out of the office, now that some studies suggest coronavirus may be an airborne disease (officially, it’s only known to spread via droplet at this point).
They’re catching up:
In every negative situation, there are opportunities to create positives. Now is a great time to do the things it’s usually difficult to find time for. Need to build farm tables or any other rental item? Been putting off a full inventory? How about training your team? When everyone’s back to full-scale operations, you’ll have a more knowledgeable, helpful staff and happier customers.
They’re signing online petitions:
Events are being canceled quickly as governments impose limits on gatherings and businesses move to limit liability. This has cost the event industry billions of dollars worldwide, so more than 75,000 people have signed a petition for an event industry-specific federal aid package. You can add your name here.
They’re concerned about their employees:
From layoffs to temporary layoffs to cutting hours to working with local businesses in other industries that may not be as affected, leaders are trying to figure out what they can do to keep their employees and make the transition back to a full-tilt busy season as quickly as possible.
They’re connecting with others online:
The ARA has created a Facebook group where people involved in the industry can talk among each other and share what they’re doing to take care of their businesses, their staffs, and themselves. It’s a great place to see what’s happening for rental-specific questions like “How are you dealing with cancellations?”
They’re getting help from their government:
We pay taxes, in part, to ensure that someone will be there to help when we go through tough times. Inc. magazine is tracking what federal, state, and local government programs and loans are available to limit the impact to companies.
At Point of Rental, we’re doing what we can to limit the spread of COVID-19 as well. We’re all sanitizing, washing more than ever, working from home where possible, and eliminating non-essential travel. We will, however, continue to ensure that all scheduled implementations take place on time. We’re committed to minimizing the potential impact of this pandemic on your business.