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Erik Sine

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Curious about something.

 

I'm in one of the worst states there is in our grand Union and there is no sign of Business Like Usual. 

 

With everything shut down, in just the last few weeks I've had about 3 phone calls from clients who have lost their business's because of $0 income, to quote them on Sign Removal.  PPP, and Self-Employed unemployment isn't enough to pay bills and a lease.

 

I've hated everyone of those calls, mainly because I've seen their venture from start to finish and excitement that was there on startup.  

 

We all know, starting something new there is risk involved.  But whoever saw this coming.

 

Anyway, it's gut wrenching at times.  Was wondering if some of you have taken the same calls


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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The phone is ringing and customers are asking about sign removals 
 Some are never going to open back up because of this shutdown.
 Some are giving up and know that they will not make it successful
 And some just had enough, early retirements.

The question will be for many , Is how much money, time and effort do I want to put back into starting over ?
Then there is the Employee problem. 
 

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So at the start of this I contacted my Ins agent and asked what I had coverage wise. I have coverage for loss of business. The only caveat was that in order for this to be covered I had to be non essential and ordered by the government.  I am guessing a lot of people may be getting a settlement.  Along with PPP and EIDL if you applied I am thinking a lot of folks may come out ahead. On the other hand  a lot of retail stores and others were barely hanging on and this was the last straw.  

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I would never have imagined in my life time I would have seen the entire Country shut down.  It is so heart breaking to hear some of the stories we are hearing.  I can't imagine being in CA or MI where the Governors are just not listening and are just keeping everything closed when they have seen that opening up slowly in other States has worked with no problems.  Few people had enough money in the bank or savings to last a month paying bills with no income - much less 3 months or more.  The one thing that is going to be hard is to get people to come back to work!  Most are making more sitting home drawing unemployment than they did working.  Got an e-mail from the Governor last week saying that if I offered my employees their jobs back and they refused to come back (I never let any of mine go - been paying them to sweep the floor and clean up the yard) I needed to let the State know and they would cut off the unemployment.  Sad to say, but that's the only way we are going to get some folks to go back to work.  Stay safe everybody and hopefully this thing will be over soon!

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I am fortunate in that the three full time employees left in my business after the debacles of the Great Recession followed by the LAUSD IPad scandal which forced us to refuse to do work for our major client (i.e. Los Angeles Unified School District), are really good people and when we got 8 weeks salary from a PPP loan have readily given up unemployment that was actually more than 30 hrs EFT salary for them. And, they were willing to take 30 hours rather than 40 so we could use 25 percent for rent and utilities, and also so we could write small checks for our three part time "when needed" employees who did installation. We are doing everything we can think of to bring in business, but find it unfair that we shut down as directed, and now find many of our competitors stayed open under the fiction that "signs are communication and communication is essential." The fact is, I think we are lucky to have the governor we do in California, who is careful and listens to science. California was on its way to being a disaster, and because we shut down earlier than some other states, we escaped the worst. Even though we are a huge state, and consequently have more cases than some other states, our numbers are so much lower than New York and New Jersey, as well as a couple of other much smaller states. My own residence county, Orange County, has in some ways defied the orders and had some demonstrations, and is now experiencing a higher number of cases and deaths. We just had our worst day ever. Of course we want to reopen, and hope we will still have some clients. Because our income essentially stopped -- even was slowing greatly in January because building managers were hearing about the virus, and I think put projects on hold we now have built up debt we didn't have before. We were just hanging on, and now the cliff just got a lot higher. But we have been in business 64 years so I'm not giving up without a fight. The more of companies that stay in  business, the more money that will percolate through the system, and the more of us will also stay in business. 

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