To say that this year has been tough for us is definitely an understatement. We are finally half way through the year and I hope it ends better than it started. I’m not certain what the rest of the year has in store, but it needs to improve for many of us.
As the COVID-19 pandemic goes on we are seeing markets slowing down, mills closing, quotas going into effect and other pandemic related disruptions in the supply chain that are having negative impacts on many of our businesses. According to those that responded to our survey conducted in June, approximately 72% of the logging businesses throughout the country have requested and received some type of federal assistance, either through the Payroll Protection Program or perhaps the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program administered by the Small Business Administration.
While these programs have helped thousands of small business across the United States to remain solvent, for many of us in the timber harvesting and timber hauling business, payroll is a small percentage of the operating costs that we incur and high fixed costs from equipment payments to insurance as well as other operating costs such as fuel and maintenance costs far outweigh our labor expenses.
I know that all loggers are not facing the same struggles; however one thing is for sure, when we face an issue such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the questions are not if it is impacting us, but how bad are those impacts going to be and how long will they last.
The ALC has been working with all of our member States to come up with a relief bill to benefit loggers and log truckers. We have hired a firm to help get it introduced into Congress; however, without the loggers contacting their representative in DC, it does not stand a chance. They need to know your story and how this assistance can help you, their constituent.
I know that most of us would rather tackle the worst day in the woods rather than talking to a politician for a few minutes, but logging is our business and we must protect it. Although most loggers are not looking for handouts, but if we can get a program in place that offers low interest loans and possibly forgivable loans, this could prove to be very beneficial for most logging and log trucking businesses in this current pandemic.
Again, we cannot do this without your help. Please copy this link,
and paste it into your browser and take the five minutes that is required to send a letter to your Senators and Congressmen and Congresswomen in your district and ask them to support the Logger Relief Fund so that we can continue to provide the essential services including paper products that this country needs.
I thank you in advance for your participation and time to respond to this urgent request.
Shannon Jarvis owns and operates Jarvis Timber Company in Potosi, Missouri, and serves as President of the American Loggers Council.
The American Loggers Council is an 501(c)(6) not for profit trade association representing professional timber harvesters throughout the United States. For more information please contact the American Loggers Council at 409-625-0206, or email@example.com, or visit our website at www.amloggers.com.