Franchise new car auto dealers in Rockland County, working through the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association (GNYADA), donated 35,000 face masks to residents to keep safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is part of a donation of half a million masks GNYADA is making to the 12 downstate counties, including New York City.
Auto dealers, which collectively throughout the downstate region contribute over $20 million annually to charitable causes, including community organizations in Rockland, are once again racing to the aid of their neighbors.
On Tuesday, May 5, GNYADA delivered 35,000 3-ply paper masks to the office of Rockland County Executive Ed Day. The county executives will then distribute them to individuals who need them, including seniors, essential workers, and other vulnerable populations.
Since Gov. Cuomo announced that New Yorkers are required to wear masks in situations where adequate social distancing is not possible, the need has become clear, and auto dealers have been eager to help.
“When New Yorkers are in need, time and again, franchise new car dealers and their employees are always there for the communities where they live and work. Auto dealers are the brick-and-mortar backbones of Main Streets and neighborhoods throughout the region, supporting little leagues, hospitals, schools, senior centers, and many charities large and small,” said GNYADA President Mark Schienberg. “During this extremely challenging time, when so many New Yorkers are suffering, losing loved ones, losing jobs, and struggling, car dealerships are once again here to contribute.”
“This donation of 35,000 surgical masks by the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association will be utilized to great effect during our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rockland County Executive Ed Day. “My gratitude to the members of this organization as they help us ensure the health and safety of those who are most at risk during this crisis.”
April is the time of year when GNYADA and the auto industry would have been hosting the 120th annual New York International Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, which was converted to overflow hospital space. The popular event is now rescheduled to take place in late August and early September.
Franchised new car dealers collectively are the fifth largest retail employer throughout the downstate region, helping to support 71,280 jobs, contributing $2.5 billion in local and state taxes, and supporting a total payroll of $4.5 billion, according to an economic impact survey conducted in 2019.
New car dealers have been declared essential businesses. Service departments must fix cars and perform roadside assistance not only for other essential workers like doctors and nurses, but also for ordinary people who need to go to the grocery stores, the pharmacy, and carry out the necessities of daily life.