Friday, July 26, 2013

CARB Votes to Shore up PLACE Program - Verbal Terstimony Copy Below

7/25/2013 CARB Testimony

Matt Schrap, Crossroads Equipment Lease and Finance

CalCAP AQIP Allocation

Thank you Madame Chair and Board members, my name is Matt Schrap. I am Vice President of Government Programs for Crossroads Equipment Lease and Finance and the Velocity Vehicle Group of Companies. We appreciate the opportunity to share our support regarding the AQIP funding plan, specifically for the Providing Loan Assistance for California Equipment or PLACE truck loan assistance program administered through the treasurer’s office highly successful California Capital Access Program.
The truck loan assistance program is the most integral funding program available for small and medium sized California based trucking fleets. Leading to the consensus that the $2 Million currently allocated, although a step in the right direction, it is not nearly enough.  There is a reason why the program is so popular, Crossroads and our fellow participating lenders have been able to help 1000's of California based businesses secure commercial financing in one of the tightest credit markets in recent history. Without this program, most of these businesses would not have been able to secure the needed capital for equipment purchases required by law. These transactions are driven by state turnover mandates not mainstream consumer acceptance.

In that vein, it is important to remember that the PLACE truck loan assistance program has not only helped businesses who could not qualify for commercial credit on their own, but it has also helped reduce Particulate Matter (PM)and Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) emissions by 1 ton and 4.5 tons per day ahead of regulatory deadlines.
In addition to reducing emissions, the PLACE program creates and retains jobs in California. According to the Treasurer’s office, in 2012 alone, close to 300 jobs were created and over 1500  retained because of loans that were enrolled in the on-road truck assistance loan program.

Whether funds are distributed through AQIP, 1B or other funding sources; the program needs your help. It should not be eclipsed by efforts to rebate vehicle purchases for consumers or businesses who can already afford particular configurations or platforms. There are literally tens of thousands of small and medium sized businesses all over the state who need your help.
CARB recognized the need for this program in 2009 because of regulatory needs and limited access to capital. Although the economy is improving, we are still left with the old adage, “good people, bad credit”. It is in fact an unfortunate reality for the trucking industry, especially for the small and single truck operators.

At Crossroads we see these Credit profiles daily and know that without CalCAP and PLACE, these operators would not be able to secure the affordable financing necessary to run their businesses.
Your leadership is again needed to direct additional funds to this laudable program. If the $5 Million additional surplus is realized, most if not all of it should be allocated to PLACE and CalCAP for additional enrollees through 2013 and beyond. The PLACE program is a proven, successful loan assitance program that can help small and medium sized California businesses secure the cleanest Heavy-Duty equipment today. In fact, CalCAP and PLACE is the public-private partnership model for transporation equipment finance assistance today.  

Please support and maintain funding for the truck loan assistance program and direct staff to seek out additional funds to help keep the wheels turning. Thank  you.

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