Senate Banking Committee Chairman, Chris Dodd says local car manufacturers and dealers should be allowed at the table as Detroit automakers continue to lobby Congress for a $25 billion dollar loan.
Members of the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association met with Senator Dodd to discuss ways the federal government can help car dealerships in Connecticut and throughout the country.
President of the group, James Fleming says Congress can't allow the Big 3 to go into bankruptcy because it would cripple small businesses.
"The perception by the public if dealers were to, for instance GM dealers would to be facing bankruptcy by the corporation would have a real chilling effect on consumers purchasing those types of vehicles. We feel that would be very difficult..as we understand it that would be a last option rather than a first option."
Dodd says Congress is doing the right thing by asking the Big 3 to come back to lawmakers by December 2 with a detailed plan on how the federal money will help them avoid bankruptcy.
He also says it's time for President-elect Barack Obama's administration to voice how it will help restore confidence back into the US economy.
"I don't think you wait until January 20 on this. By the time you're up and running it's February, it's March. I just think they need to become more involved and engaged in some solutions."
Meanwhile, local car dealers are bracing for what comes next. The Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association says Connecticut has more than eleven-hundred dealerships. So far thirty new car dealerships have closed in the state. One-hundred independent car dealerships have also shut down.
Ken Crowley who owns several dealerships in Connecticut and employs more than three-hundred people says the state could be in real trouble if dealerships continue to go out of business. His dealerships alone contributed $33 million in taxes last year.