(Oct. 15, 2020/Augusta ME) Expect to see an array of tour buses in Augusta this evening as motorcoach companies in Maine turn out in support of U.S. Senator Susan Collins as she faces off against three challengers in a candidate debate. They are supporting her re-election campaign because of her tireless work to secure economic relief for the small, family-owned motorcoach and passenger vessel companies that are such a crucial part of Maine’s tourism sector.
The parking entrance to the debate will be lined with coaches from VIP Tour & Charter Bus Company, CYR, Northeast Charter & Tour Company, and Custom Coach. These Maine small businesses are sending a caravan of at least a dozen motorcoaches to drive home the point that the Maine Senator cares about small businesses and is working hard to rescue the motorcoach industry from an economic cliff.
A Small Business Champion
“Senator Collins has supported Small Business since she was elected; from day one,” Jason Briggs, VP of Business Development for the Portland-based VIP Tour & Charter Bus Company said of why these companies are rolling out in support of their longtime Senator. “She continues to do that not only by supporting the motorcoach industry in Maine, but by supporting the industry across the country.”
Collins reached across the aisle to work with Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island to provide a lifeline for these businesses in Maine and others like them all across the country. In all, 80,000 have been furloughed and many of these multi-generational businesses are in danger of closing. Collins has successfully built broad bipartisan coalition in both Houses of Congress with 58 Senators and 256 Representatives supporting the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act. In addition, Collins was able to get more than two dozen Senators from both parties to sign a letter asking Congressional leadership to include the CERTS Act in any relief measure they take up.
The CERTS Act would authorize $10 billion in emergency economic relief, including grants, for America’s bus, motorcoach, and passenger ferry industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Motorcoaches play an essential role, not just in the tourist economy, but in moving the nation’s military and evacuating victims from floods, wildfires, and even train derailments. They are a critical part of the nation’s ground transportation infrastructure.
“We just want her to know that we support her and thank her for at least putting the CERTS program together,” said Briggs.