Canadian Rental Association
Great turnout for March CRA Ontario meeting
March 21, 2013 - It was the largest turnout CRA Ontario had seen for a long time at its March meeting at Absolute Location Support Services in Toronto last night. More than 70 members toured Paul Kenyon's impressive warehouse, enjoyed a prime rib dinner in his classy showroom and heard Dan Kelly of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business give the lowdown on credit card fees.
By Patrick Flannery
March 21, 2013 – It was the largest turnout CRA Ontario had seen for a long time at its March meeting at Absolute Location Support Services in Toronto last night. More than 70 members toured Paul Kenyon's impressive warehouse, enjoyed a prime rib dinner in his classy showroom and heard Dan Kelly of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business give the lowdown on credit card fees.
|Many party rental operators attended, making this meeting one of the largest in recent memory.|
It was a testament to the friendliness and camaraderie in our industry that Paul Potvin and a small invasion force of Location Equipment Supply employees were able to attend the event, eat and drink as much as they could, and still see Kenyon smiling at the end. They had to have been impressed with Kenyon's full-service, one-stop shop film and events rental operation occupying 75,000 square feet with over 45 employees.
|No shortage of space at Absolute.|
Absolute moved the location in 2011, occupying a former industrial
woodworking operation. He has expanded his offerings to include
dishware, bathroom trailers (branded It's My Potty), huge clearspan
tents, heaters, generators and more.
|Michelle shows off the Taj Mahal of porta-potties.|
There is even a fire truck to
quickly pump water at event sites. Absolute's senior account manager,
Michelle Nicol, and operations supervisor, Sacha Ludwikowski, conducted
|How cool is it to have your own fire truck? Sean says it can pump 200 gallons per minute.|
Kenyon, who is Region 10 director at the American Rental Association, spared attendees most of the ARA talking points and instead gave an interesting overview of his operation, followed by a plug for the ARA's Cost of Doing Business report, which helps rental operators benchmark their business finances against industry standards.
|Kenyon asked everyone to take a look at the Cost of Doing Business survey to see how their numbers measure up.|
CRA Ontario chairman, James Morden, got up to introduce Rental Awareness Week and to invite members to tell the national CRA about their videos, websites, social media feeds and special events so they can be included in the cross-country promotion. Dale Brinklow, CRA Ontario vice-president, previewed the next meeting which will take place in Sudbury, Ont., on April 17. Elections will be held there for secretary, treasurer and second vice-president. Brinklow said the association is also looking for a "director of electrical communications" to help out with web and social media updates. The Sudbury meeting will follow a slightly different format with tours happening in the afternoon. A discounted block of hotel rooms is available at the Hampton Inn until April 5 – call 1-705-523-5200.
|Abraham meets customers at the back counter. There is a cage system where equipment can be securely staged for pickup after hours.|
Kelly spoke about surveys the CFIB has done to gauge members' satisfaction with credit card companies and their fees and, to no one's surprise, he reported that small business owners are not happy. He said the CFIB is fighting on several fronts to clarify which cards carry extra processing fees, to ask credit companies to reduce or eliminate fees and to prevent credit companies from applying punitive and restrictive contracts to vendors. He said mobile payments may represent an opportunity for telecommunications companies to start taking a slice of your transactions along with the credit card companies, the banks and the payment processors.
Finally, CRA Ontario president, Mike Maltby, kindly gave your editor a chance to remind members to nominate worthy individuals and companies for Canadian Rental Service's Top 10 Under 40 feature and next year's ROOTY award.