Rental association distributes grants

Christmas came early for rental equipment businesses that suffered severe damage from hurricanes Katrina or Rita. The American Rental Association Foundation distributed $190,000 in grants among 20 affected stores.

Nearly 80 rental stores and suppliers and close to 20 ARA state and local organization contributed to the fund. The American Rental Association and ARA Insurance Services also contributed $75,000 and $25,000, respectively. More than $200,000 was raised. The money that was not distributed to the hurricane-affected stores will be seed money for an ongoing ARA Foundation Disaster Relief Fund.

“This is a significant humanitarian effort on the part of the donors, the ARA Foundation and the entire rental equipment industry,” said Skip Evans, ARA Foundation chairman. “The ARA Foundation believes this rental equipment industry self-help program reflects the very best qualities within our industry.”

The grants are intended to help restore a rental business to full operation. Evans said aid was focused where the need was greatest. Donations were accepted through Nov. 15, and any rental equipment store that incurred hurricane damage and had 100 employees or fewer was eligible to apply for the grants.