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COVID-19 / Coronavirus - has it affected you


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Sign shops in Washington state aren't considered essential... home improvement stores, pot shops and "vegetation management crews" are essential.  Good to know where we stand....

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Vickie;   I am an electrician, having transitioned from the sign industry. In California, I believe I am deemed "essential". The problem is that Capital budgets as well as Reactionary budget

I just got a "unsubscribe" from our newsletters and reason stated "Going out of Business".  This comes from a pretty large longtime Sign Company here in California

HA  Don't live in Maryland.  Our STUPID governor is saying he is most likely not going to allow the state to open up until January 2021.  We are allowed to be open but there is no work to speak of.  T

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First of all I want to say I have infinite respect and admiration for professional sign installers, for theirs is the most dangerous job in the sign industry.

As for the COVID-19 pandemic, I felt I was immune to it as I already work from home and can socially isolate myself.  However, government mandates have occurred in states where I have valued clients.
They have had to altogether shut down or curtail operations, meaning the amount of work in my inbox has slowed to a crawl.

I hope that this pandemic will be over soon so we can all resume our jobs and get back to work.

Sincerely,
Matthew Ota
Architectural & Electrical Sign Designer
since 1993

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We are finishing up projects, fabricating where we can and installing when we can.  For the most part it's a skeleton crew, most are working from home.  All jobs that were up and coming have been placed on hold. 

 

Stay safe and healthy everyone, things will normalize.

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I have to laugh at UL Right now.

 

I just received that long boring..."our company is doing this to ensure yadda yadda..." on the Virus.  With links to click on to ensure you're using "UL approved Medical supplies" :laughing1:

 

 

Can they not be anymore retarded than they already are during these times, people are having to 3D print their face masks right now  :nutkick:

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

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First,  I've removed all political comments from this thread.  If you want to post political topics and comments do that here

http://www.thesignsyndicate.com/forums/index.php?/forums/forum/41-bar-stool-madness/

 

 

My intention of this topic is to find out all the "going's on's" of our industry and how all you are doing and hopefully hanging in there  and staying healthy.  Secondarily , how all this shut down will affect us and our industry.  Looks like most of everything is closed down until end of April.  

 

My kids are out of school like most and won't return physically until their next school year and class schedule done on Zoom

 

Kgirl's been mostly busy at her other job working in the Hospital ER so she's on the frontlines so to speak. 

 

My feeling is we've already been hit with a mild case (she brought home with her) of the COVID, and the small flu we had came and passed, her symptoms were more close to the Corona than mine, loss off smell, taste, etc.  Most of what she's run into and positive cases are just flu symptoms, quarantine and let it ride out.  Very few death cases and when they are they were, they were elderly and individuals susceptible due to their current health, like most flu sickness can result in.

 

I'm at a standstill with work here locally and any work is only coming from here.

 

Right now....

 

 

I'm bored. 

 

Just been working out, running, biking, lifting weight, and making beer!

 

Thought I'd share a small batch that I did of a Pale Ale

 

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And lot's of late Nights under the stars smoking Cigars Drinking my Beer and all while listening to Talk Radio

 

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Well the positive to all this I will most likely accomplish and finish all those things I said I would "Get too"   

 

:crazy:

 

 

Stay healthy out there!!

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

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Erik;

 

You are way too tough to let this COVID keep you down. If you can monitor sign people, like those on this board, this virus ain't got nothing on you. Take care of yourself, Josey Wales.........

 

Tell K Girl  thanks for being on the front lines fighting for us all with the rest of those doing the same.

 

I, like you, am at a standstill and don't anticipate not being in this state for a while. But our collective health is the most important thing in this time of crisis. We will get back to economics as normal because that is what we Americans do. We fight and Prevail. Also, take the time to extend kindness to someone else who needs it like we all do.

 

As Tom Bon Jovi said; "If you can't do what you do, do what you can".

 

Godspeed to all on the board

 

Peace out

 

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"Don't be afraid to see what you see" - President Ronald Reagan

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17 hours ago, Snoochie said:

Erik;

 

You are way too tough to let this COVID keep you down. If you can monitor sign people, like those on this board, this virus ain't got nothing on you. Take care of yourself, Josey Wales.........

 

Tell K Girl  thanks for being on the front lines fighting for us all with the rest of those doing the same.

 

I, like you, am at a standstill and don't anticipate not being in this state for a while. But our collective health is the most important thing in this time of crisis. We will get back to economics as normal because that is what we Americans do. We fight and Prevail. Also, take the time to extend kindness to someone else who needs it like we all do.

 

As Tom Bon Jovi said; "If you can't do what you do, do what you can".

 

Godspeed to all on the board

 

Peace out

 

 

I second that Snoochie!  Erik, please tell K Girl that we are so proud of her and thank her for giving so selflessly even when it puts her own family at risk.  That cannot be easy!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hope everyone is staying healthy and hopefully trying to navigate through this Shut Down.

 

Thought I'd post a webinar Signs of The Times is doing on the Care Act this Thursday April 16 that might be helpful

https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=reg20.jsp&referrer=&eventid=2272693&sessionid=1&key=36D2D121878B99FE13248D14965EBC40&regTag=934322&sourcepage=register

 

I sat through the first one, though it didn't apply to me I though it was helpful as it's geared towards Sign Shops

 

 

 

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

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  • 4 weeks later...

Anyone slowly getting back to work?  Or Pretty much still shut down?

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

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HA  Don't live in Maryland.  Our STUPID governor is saying he is most likely not going to allow the state to open up until January 2021.  We are allowed to be open but there is no work to speak of.  This has gone too far.  Americans need to rise up - and fast.................

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Our phone has not rang in over 2 weeks.  Have work that needs finished but a lot of suppliers aren't open.  

 

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2 minutes ago, Vikki2021 said:

Our phone has not rang in over 2 weeks.  Have work that needs finished but a lot of suppliers aren't open.  

 

What are you needing?

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We opened with a few of our crew to manufacture sneeze guards for bank teller windows and car dealership sales desks.  The only time the phone rings is when a National sign company wants a job done "right away".  I think we may be able to go out for service on/around the 18th. 

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I let both of my guys go and will not be bringing them back on board when they say this is finally over. With what they are paying out on the unemployment side of things here in MD no one is going to want to come back to work and the state will slam me with asinine premium increases to cover the losses like they did back around 08. I have worked every day and plan to continue to. I have modified my business so that I can do everything I take on by myself. I will no longer do national work (other than 2 that have been great so far) since they have all said basically we are not paying you on time if at all. With all that said, not much work is coming in as of late, but with it being just me now, it doesn't take a lot coming in to pay the bills.

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We have been shut down since March 20, but since we just got a PPP grant, we are officially working, mostly from home, to do what we can to pay bills, as well as more to employees. We are always slow starting in December, after the ADA work in schools and colleges is over for the year pretty much, and businesses are thinking about the tax bill due in April, and then we pick up in late April. But we had been doubly slow ever since rumors of a possible pandemic appeared in January. Frankly, I'm glad our governor in California had the sense to close down quickly. Although we have a high number of cases and deaths, that is mostly because we have such a huge population. Our percentages look much better.

 

I don't actually think business is going to rebound quickly for us and for many other businesses. And for any business like ours that is not providing something absolutely essential, and many signs are not, or at least people don't think they are (until they get an ADA lawsuit!), it's going to take a lot of time and work to build back up again. We had never recovered fully from the recession!

 

I think that first, businesses are not going to have money, so they will spend carefully and slowly on anything not absolutely essential. Second, I think people will be fearful of too much contact until the deaths come almost to a halt  or until there is a widely available vaccine -- and of course without one, it could all come roaring back in the late fall and winter. 

 

If schools and colleges are going to be closed again, unless there is bond money to spend, they won't be doing capital improvements, including ADA signs. 

 

I now have (down from 21 before the recession) a tiny team of 3 full time employees and several part time, or "as needed" employees. I and a great guy who wanted his own company were just in the process of merging when this hit, and now that has been put on hold, since he can't get his SBA loan. He would have provided some much needed expertise and a lot of wonderful contacts in Northern Cal. My staff has a huge amount of hard to replace ADA sign knowledge, among the best in the whole country, frankly. I don't want to see that lost, but I'm just hoping and working to try to find ways to keep us going (after 66 years!) and able to pay them and our rent, utilities and vendors. 

 

Good luck to all of you out there, with pretty much the same problems and the same hopes and dreams for your companies!

 

The ADA Sign Lady

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Hi Sharon,

 

We're just south of you, deaths and cases are low over here.  In fact, many who have Covid don't even know they have it, many have Covid with minor symptoms, and those who had a case of it were just sent home and recover.  The ones hit the hardest which wasn't much were the elderly or those with susceptible conditions.  Right now our Urgent Cares and ER's are empty, my wife who works in the ER has been pretty idle with Covid.  This is a good thing because we need to open up, live life and open up our economy, those who have health concerns should of course resume behind closed doors

 

 

 

On another note....

 

I've gotten a lot of newsletter bounce backs from complete companies who are now out of business along with emails with auto-reply's of "This person is no longer employed here"

 

In platforms like LinkedIn I've seen a lot of familiar faces with "Looking for my next opportunity" on their employment title 

 

It's been sad to see.  So our industry has taken a pretty big hit 

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

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I have been getting some of the same replies when I send e-mails.  It's really sad.  Hopefully we can get this economy going again and get back as close to "normal" as we can.  If we continue to stay closed we are all going to be in a mell of a hess!!   If you survived the recession you may survive this.  

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We came through the recession, and although we had used all our cash resources and had finally seen our staff dwindle and had to stop providing most of our extremely generous benefits, we felt hopeful. Sadly, some of this hope was because many competitors who had badly underbid us to the point where they could not actually provide what was required to complete their contracts, went out of business. We were still standing although badly battered. Now, we hope to also survive, but again, it is sad to hear that some of our possible success in doing so will because we will have less competition. Competition always drives us to do better so we aren't happy to see good competitors close their doors forever.

 

Because of other issues (mostly the IPad scandal at LAUSD), we have never been able to really rebuild since the recession, and have had to downsize to just a sliver of our former selves. That may serve to be a benefit now. We are down to a very small staff, used to making do, squeezed into a smaller space, nursing older equipment along and every member of our small team absolutely stellar. There is no "dead wood," no slack offs on our staff. Maybe that will save us. At 84, I wasn't really working up to my usual speed, but this has strangely energized me, and I am working as hard as I did in my "young years" of just 10 years ago, putting in long days.

 

Yes, we do want to open up again, but we want everyone to be safe, and frankly, we don't expect a rush of business. This is going to be slow, slow, slow, and maybe 30 hours will become the new "full time" rather than just legal "full time equivalent." And maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing. Maybe more time at home with our families, tending "victory gardens," taking walks, playing board games, zoom meetings with far flung relatives and friends, cooking favorite comfort foods "from scratch," taking personal part in our kid's education a bit more, even if they are back in class, and yes, making beer, would lead to a happier nation, overall. 

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Well we can take solace in the fact that there is a market for COVID-19 pandemic related visual communications and protective gear. Floor spacing decals, POP signs,  (one per custormer, etc.) and exterior "Wait in Line Here" signs. You can get an idea by just looking at all of the handmade signs in the stores and replace them with professional signage.  Acrylic shielding. Acrylic boxes for ATM keyboards.Signs for buses and trains...etc. etc...

 

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One day at a time here in Dallas, TX.   I shut down for 1 day, the first day our State was supposed to shut down.  I went to check the mail at the shop that afternoon.  Everyone of my neighbors were open, and working.  So I said screw it, we're working.  
 

With the exception of 1 job, all of our fab jobs were put on hold.  So I decided I was getting into the Social Safety Barrier biz.  Luckily with our contacts and customers, that has kept the shop somewhat busy.  We're not building cheap double stick tape ones.  We're fabricating like we do our signs.    We still have our service/install biz that's been keeping the install crews somewhat busy.
As far as seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  IMO that tunnel got a lot longer.  A couple of our on hold jobs came back to life this week.  But they're no longer what we originally contracted.  Pole signs vanished, 1 instead of 3 signs for buildings, you get the drift...

We got in on the PPP.  So we've been supplementing hours with that.  We'll use it when we need it to fill in any upcoming gaps.    

Positives?  My shop is clean and organized, just like the recession times in '09-'10.  Our trucks are clean, and serviced.
Negatives?  I won't spend my savings again keeping folks employed, covering insurance, and daily biz expenses.  I've found peace with that decision if I'm faced with it.  I love owning my own biz in the good and even bad times.  However I'm done spending money in hopes that everything will go back to the way it was.  I'm not giving up anytime soon.  Things are kind of looking up, if you look real hard for the positives.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/20/2020 at 10:46 AM, matthewota said:

I am a self-employed Architectural & Electrical Sign designer that telecommutes from home, coffee shops and libraries. I use a "mobile office" A.K.A a laptop compute to do all of my work.
For now, I am restricting myself to just working from home, as the library and the coffee shops are closed
As long as the internet is running, I can do my work from my end.
However, my clients in California are now under orders form the state government that their brick and mortar manufacturing facilities and offices are closed as of today.
I can work as usual by sending and receiving information via email, but since there is no accounting, it is doubtful that I will be getting payment on open invoices. This really hurts me financially as I had a three month drought in work this past winter. Cie La vie.....Just thankful to be virus-free and safe at home.

So... I took some creative time for some COVID-19 levity by designing this decal suitable for laptop computers. etc.
It has a western "Cowboys and Indians"  theme, with native American warriors replaced with COVID-19 viruses LOL:

Matthew Ota
Architectural & Electrical Sign Designer
https://matthewotasignportfolio.wordpress.com/

 

Circle the Wagons COVD-19.jpg

 

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We are in Georgia which opened first. Most of our projects are Metro Atlanta and the surrounding 50 mile radius. It has slowed down for us and some of our projects were put on hold. All of our projects that were on hold have now resumed. One positive  result of the debacle was we were able to get a few permits issued without going to design review board meetings. Maybe they will decide they don’t really need those meetings after all. One can hope sanity prevails. The permit was handled by a few emails. 

Lots of businesses here in Georgia never really shut down. Some of the more visible ones in downtown areas locked their doors and did business by appointments only as not to be too obvious. Most of the restaurants stayed open for drive thru and take out and some cities even allowed people to order take out alcoholic beverages. I guess the cities and counties wanted to keep that liquor tax revenue flowing into their coffers. I always wondered who the essential businesses was for essential for? Essential for who?  Now things are beginning to return to a semblance of a normal pace, the restaurants are now open for sit down meals and some are even using real plates, cloth napkins and silverware instead of the plastic or paper throw away type. Most cities are requiring the subjective spacing between tables and booths so that is limiting seating capacity therefore automatically cuts the amount of business in half. Some of the restaurant owners that I spoke with are saying they may have to close up if the spacing restriction is not lifted soon. All of the people serving food that I spoke with said they would really be glad to get rid of the mask as soon as possible. Most said it was very uncomfortable to wear a mask for a whole shift. Especially the ladies makeup was getting messed up and glasses were getting fogged up. Some said they felt less energy and even dizzy sometimes so they had to step outside and get some fresh air.   I noticed that the national chains and some but not all  grocery stores had these policies in place and some were more restrictive than others. So far in Georgia I have not been asked to wear a mask at any of the stores I visited.

 

One positive thing I have noticed much less traffic on the roads and my drive times have been much better so many people must be working from home. I really enjoy driving the bucket truck now with out all the traffic. Speaking of being quarantined how many of you guys and gals are still being quarantined at home. Seems like each state is different. Some are saying this quarantine of healthy people is unconstitutional. What do you think. I saw this he other day and it makes sense to me:

 

‘Quarantine is when you restrict the movement of sick people.

‘Tyranny is when you restrict the movement of healthy people.

 

My personal opinion is that we as Americans learn what is going on and do something about it if we what to keep our freedoms. What has happened is unprecedented in our country. If you want to here my uncensored thoughts on this join me in the Bar Stool Madness forum   

Salsa Signman

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