Boating industry optimistic about Trump administration

Most in the boating industry are hopeful a new Trump administration will be good for the industry, but are still concerned about the role of the government in their businesses.

That’s according to the latest survey of Boating Industry readers, conducted via email in February 2017. Respondents were a mix of dealers, marinas, engine and boat manufacturers, service providers and others working in the industry. (See more on the survey in the April issue of Boating Industry.)

More than half of respondents – 55 percent – said they are very concerned about how government regulations and issues will affect their business. Another 34 percent are at least somewhat concerned about it.

At the same time, many are hoping that a new Republican administration will reduce some of that regulatory burden, with 64 percent saying they expect the Trump presidency to be positive for the boating industry. Only 6 percent expect it to be negative, while 15 percent expect it to be neutral and 15 percent are unsure what the impact will be.

Ethanol top concern

As it has been for the last three years, ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard was the top regulatory concern for Boating Industry readers.

Nearly 60 percent of respondents said they are very concerned about the issue and another 34 percent are at least somewhat concerned. Twenty-six percent of readers said it was the most important policy concern for their business, down slightly from 28 percent last year and 30 percent in 2015.

Tax policy continues to grow in importance to survey respondents. This year, 21 percent said it was their most important issue, up from 17 percent in 2016 and 14 percent in 2015. Forty-five percent said they were very concerned about the issue, and only 4 percent were not concerned at all.

Environmental regulations (13 percent) and water access (12 percent) were the only other issues identified by more than 10 percent of readers as their top concern. More than 90 percent were at least somewhat concerned about both issues.

A majority of readers – 56 percent – said that business regulations have hurt their ability to grow their business within the last year. Those readers cited a number of different issues, but some of the most common were lending regulations, environmental rules and water access challenges.


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