RV Dealer Jeremy Ketelsen’s testimony begins at 34:28 of the video above.
U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer of Iowa invited RVDA member Jeremy Ketelsen of Ketelsen RV to testify during a virtual congressional hearing yesterday aimed at identifying challenges small businesses face in the wake of COVID-19.
Ketelsen told Congress that in the early weeks of the pandemic, many RV dealers responded by providing RVs for emergency responders and medical personnel, while experiencing a steep drop in business. As the RV business bounced back, Ketelsen noted that supply chain issues have depleted dealer inventories across the country.
“These supply chain issues have the potential to create a storm after a storm,” Ketelsen said. “If manufacturers of RVs, which are primarily American-made, cannot get components from suppliers and build products, it will lead to a challenge, because we do not have product to stock during the time that consumers are seeking the outdoor experience.”
He emphasized to lawmakers the great benefits the RV and outdoor industry bring to the American people.
“Since those uncertain days of March and April,” he said, “Americans have made it clear with the increase in business and enthusiasm towards the great outdoors that this is an industry that can heal the nation during times like these.”
Ketelsen also thanked lawmakers for passing the Great American Outdoor Act which will provide critical funding for public campgrounds and other outdoor recreation resources.
“Continued public investment in outdoor recreation is extremely important for the country’s future,” Ketelsen said. “With the pandemic, we have seen an increase in younger and first-time buyers at our dealership and at dealerships across the country. In our conversations with these customers, we are finding that there are a lot of parents who are using the outdoors to reconnect with their families. They want to get away from the fear of the virus and spend time together as a family unit.”