Fee freezes and keyworker support: Sector suppliers continue to do their bit to fight Coronavirus on all fronts

Published:  02 April, 2020

Sector suppliers are continuing to offer support to garages, and the wider community as rapidly changing Coronavirus situation unfolds.

With a view to supporting embattled businesses, The Parts Alliance has frozen fees for garages in its Servicesure network, a move that has been welcome by its members.

Colourspray Auto Services in Merseyside offers MOTs, servicing and bodywork. Owner Graham Young took the decision to close the business on 28 March: “Servicesure contacted us to tell us they were freezing our membership fees and to have someone be proactive in trying to help is great. It’s not about the amount of money saved, it’s the fact that Servicesure offered it unprompted as a way of supporting us. The support we’ve had from Servicesure, CES and The Parts Alliance has been great. It’s easy to make promises when the going’s good, but it’s times like this when you really know who’s there for you.”

Meanwhile, The Parts Alliance is also donating food prizes from it’s recent ‘Original Experience’ promotion to local causes. The two-month promotion was scheduled to run throughout March and April, however, with a lockdown in place across the country, the promotion has been postponed.

Rather than let thousands of food prizes, such as snack boxes and chocolate eggs across the network go to waste, The Parts Alliance has instructed branches to donate the prizes to local food banks and NHS hospitals.

Head of Marketing for The Parts Alliance, Simon Moore, said: “These are challenging times for everyone, so it felt right to spread a little cheer and give the remaining sweets and chocolates from our recent promotion to local organisations that do so much good.”

Different organisations are finding a range of ways to help. While Autoparts UK, Midwest Motor Factors and Monmore Autoparts, all part of Arnold Clark, are temporarily closing until at least Monday 13 April, the outlets are providing 400 vehicles to NHS and frontline workers free of charge.

At the same time, employees have also responded to the government’s call for help and are volunteering within the NHS and are also providing roadside recovery, emergency repairs and parts for all emergency vehicles where necessary.

At Autoparts UK, a team of 10 specialist parts people are in place to assist blue light workers. Each individual will identify the parts required, collect stock from the branch and deliver it to their premises or be available for collection.

Autoparts UK, Midwest Motor Factors and Monmore Auto Parts have also supplied 10,000 disposable seat covers for use by NHS staff.   Craig McCracken, Group Factor Manager, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the number of employees who have volunteered to support NHS staff. By closing our doors to the public and trade, we are in the best possible position to continue to support the NHS, government and local authorities with the vehicles, parts and servicing they need during this pandemic.”

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