Railway Suppliers Pressing on Through COVID-19 Crisis (E. Michael O’Malley; Railway Supply Institute)

Mike O’Malley (RSI) (1)

As the nation continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and many industries face continued uncertainty for the future, railway suppliers are working with federal, state, and local governments to ensure that there are clear and consistent guidelines in place surrounding the continued operations of the railway supply industry. While the health and safety of employees always comes first, the railway supply industry is committed to doing its part in serving our freight and passenger railroad customers as they meet the needs of our communities and the nation.

On Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released its updated guidance for identifying critical infrastructure workers during the COVID-19 crisis. This guidance is meant to help states and localities as they continue to implement new restrictions on business operations to ensure that the nation’s critical infrastructure remains operational. While this list is advisory in nature, all U.S. states that have issued operating restrictions on businesses have referenced this guidance in determining the scope of what constitutes an essential business. In this updated guidance, CISA provides more detail to the various sectors considered necessary, but it does not change the industry’s approach that all rail supply workers are essential.

Critical supplies and resources must keep moving on our rail systems without disruption. Now that Congress has passed the $2.3 trillion coronavirus aid package (CARES Act), many small businesses in the rail industry will soon also have access to a range of loans, debt relief, grants, and tax credits to help them weather the storm as well. For railway suppliers, there has never been a more important time to be involved in advocacy at the federal and state levels to ensure that small and mid-sized businesses in this industry are being taken care of. For those companies already feeling the impacts of this pandemic, please contact us. We’re here to help.