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One-Third of New York’s Small Businesses May Be Gone Forever

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One-Third of New York’s Small Businesses May Be Gone Forever

Old 08-03-20, 09:21 AM
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One-Third of New York’s Small Businesses May Be Gone Forever

.
...this **** is gonna get real now.
When the pandemic eventually subsides, roughly one-third of the city’s 240,000 small businesses may never reopen, according to a report by the Partnership for New York City, an influential business group. So far, those businesses have shed 520,000 jobs.

While New York is home to more Fortune 500 headquarters than any city in the country, small businesses are the city’s backbone. They represent roughly 98 percent of the employers in the city and provide jobs to more than 3 million people, which is about half of its work force, according to the city.

When New York’s economic lockdown started in March the hope was that the closing of businesses would be temporary and many could weather the financial blow.
But the devastation to small businesses has become both widespread and permanent as the economy reopens at a slow pace. Emergency federal aid has failed to provide enough of a cushion, people remain leery of resuming normal lives and the threat of a second wave of the virus looms.
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Old 08-03-20, 11:08 AM
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Actually, we seem to be in a second wave right now and it is mostly of our own making. I also think the situation you describe in your post is likely to be true for cities and small towns across the country. I'm retired so I can rest easy but I imagine people with children in their families are scared, first about work, and secondly about school openings. I've read several articles about parents beginning home schooling or banding together for what is becoming known as learning pods. Others, with more wealth, are enrolling their kids in rural schools near their second homes. These situations are already major upheavals and I don't see us getting back to the way it was.
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Old 08-03-20, 12:20 PM
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Otherwise known as being between a rock and a hard place. Many of those small businesses cannot survive in a quarantine or near quarantine situation ... and at the same time, that is what is required if infection rates are to drop to acceptable levels. I truly feel for those who started small businesses in the recent past.
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Old 08-03-20, 03:19 PM
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That's tragic.

Any mention in the article whether the vacuum may eventually be filled with other small businesses? NYC doesn't seem like the kind of environment/infrastructure where big box retailers could take over and permanently destroy mom&pop brick&mortars like they did in smalltown america
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Old 08-04-20, 05:51 AM
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Same in Texas, including my hometown. I'll bet half of the independently owned food, beverage and entertainment businesses, that would otherwise have survived and thrived, will fail. (I'm discounting those that would have failed anyway and focusing on those that were doing well before the pandemic.) Largely due to a completely lack of leadership and competence in local and state government.

Independently owned bars, restaurants, breweries, brewpubs, taprooms, etc., are struggling, and many failing, because of the utter incompetence of government.

Meanwhile the sketchy businesses on the outskirts, outside of city limits -- the county line roadhouses, stripper joints and porn shops -- seem to be doing fine. They're doing business as usual because there's little or no regulatory jurisdiction. The stripper joints are BYOB, age 18 and up, and collect a $25-$50 cover charge to open bottles and provide tables and wriggly meat. They don't have to worry about the state alcoholic beverage regulatory agency because they "don't serve alcohol."

This is precisely the kind of incompetence in government that led to the rise of organized crime, violence and general attitude of lawlessness and narcissistic nihilism during Prohibition.

Gummint never seems to learn. Particular those of a certain bent in partisan politics.

And the fools who follow those bent politicians are making it worse with their anti-mask paranoid conspiracy theories and fear mongering about "muh libertrees!" All they had to do was show a little community spirit and these local businesses could have survived this mess. I notice that many of the uncooperative loudmouths have relatively stable corporate jobs as managers for chain stores. They think they know something about business because they sell pet food for a big box doggie store. Meanwhile the real small business owners are trying hard to cooperate with good safety and health practices, despite the absolute lack of leadership from government.

Collectively, we deserve the mess that's coming if we can't do better than this during what could have been a relatively minor inconvenience.
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Old 08-04-20, 08:48 AM
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Just my perspective as an employee in a small business living in the county of the 4th most populous city of the USA. We have been open the entire time through COVID as we are on-call for any essential business that needs service. Mostly only Monday through Friday 8am - 5pm as businesses rarely want to pay overtime.

The county I live in has had a mandatory mask order on, then off, then on again. Currently the "on" again appears to be long term. People as a whole around here appear to be abiding by the mask order. The rebellious ones seem to make the news or social media, but I haven't seen it happen personally and I get to travel around a lot for work.

We serve commercial and government businesses. Those government businesses are local, county, state, independent school districts, universities, public transit, etc. The commercial businesses are manufacturing plants, or high rise buildings with oil and gas, medical, insurance, and tech companies. Many of the commercial companies we serve are small businesses.

The small businesses we serve also serve large companies and government entities. You could think of them as the locally owned restaurants that serve breakfast, lunch, and early dinners to office workers. But they aren't in the restaurant biz. These particular companies' primary reason for being is to make money off of large businesses.

Most small businesses I've been to have laid off a good percentage of staff. Numbers are running 20 to 60% layoffs depending on the company I've been to. The smaller the company, the higher the layoff percentage. Many small companies are scaled back to just the owners keeping the doors open.

Oil and gas didn't mess around with furloughs for long, and laid off large percentages of staff.

Many of the government entities that require on-site staff have their employees working 5 days on / 5 days off. Which means half the staff is present at all times. Except they are sitting around at work and doing virtually nothing as there is little to do.

Many businesses have shortened their work days, or work weeks. I have to call ahead to see who is open when I return to install parts from a prior service call.

I've heard first hand from several ex-employees now how that companies are writing up employees for minor offenses that in the past were overlooked or not enforced. The offenses are used to start a very short document trail to force an employee to sign a resignation so that the employee isn't fired. Which means getting unemployment benefits are going to be very hard if not impossible to receive for those employees.

Regarding people that get to work at home via computer and phone, well that's hard for me to gauge here. I hardly interact with office or cubicle occupants except to get paid by a purchasing department or get a sign off by a manager. So, all these empty cubicles could be laid off employees or people working from home, I really don't know.

Back to the company I work for, the small mom and pop owned business. We are bringing in maybe half of normal revenue in service dollars and parts. Equipment sales are around 15% of normal volumes. In normal times, we make 18 to 25% profit on selling a piece of equipment. Now we are quoting machinery at 10% profit as a starting point and have seen competitors selling for as low as 3% profit. Basically, our industry is attempting to turn inventory into cash.

My income is salary plus commission and my commission pay has been virtually nil, with the still looming threat of the salary being cut down.

Of course, all of what I'm writing about is mostly business to business companies. Yet, if people aren't working in business to business companies, they won't have much money to buy from retail businesses.

Clearly, I have some time on my hands this Tuesday morning.

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Old 08-04-20, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Independently owned bars, restaurants, breweries, brewpubs, taprooms, etc., are struggling, and many failing, because of the utter incompetence of government.
Consider the possibility that they would fail or be in serious trouble no matter what the government did. I cannot envision a safe way to run a bar in a post COVID environment.
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Old 08-04-20, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Just my perspective as an employee in a small business living in the county of the 4th most populous city of the USA. We have been open the entire time through COVID as we are on-call for any essential business that needs service. Mostly only Monday through Friday 8am - 5pm as businesses rarely want to pay overtime.

The county I live in has had a mandatory mask order on, then off, then on again. Currently the "on" again appears to be long term. People as a whole around here appear to be abiding by the mask order. The rebellious ones seem to make the news or social media, but I haven't seen it happen personally and I get to travel around a lot for work.

We serve commercial and government businesses. Those government businesses are local, county, state, independent school districts, universities, public transit, etc. The commercial businesses are manufacturing plants, or high rise buildings with oil and gas, medical, insurance, and tech companies. Many of the commercial companies we serve are small businesses.

The small businesses we serve also serve large companies and government entities. You could think of them as the locally owned restaurants that serve breakfast, lunch, and early dinners to office workers. But they aren't in the restaurant biz. These particular companies' primary reason for being is to make money off of large businesses.

Most small businesses I've been to have laid off a good percentage of staff. Numbers are running 20 to 60% layoffs depending on the company I've been to. The smaller the company, the higher the layoff percentage. Many small companies are scaled back to just the owners keeping the doors open.

Oil and gas didn't mess around with furloughs for long, and laid off large percentages of staff.

Many of the government entities that require on-site staff have their employees working 5 days on / 5 days off. Which means half the staff is present at all times. Except they are sitting around at work and doing virtually nothing as there is little to do.

Many businesses have shortened their work days, or work weeks. I have to call ahead to see who is open when I return to install parts from a prior service call.

I've heard first hand from several ex-employees now how that companies are writing up employees for minor offenses that in the past were overlooked or not enforced. The offenses are used to start a very short document trail to force an employee to sign a resignation so that the employee isn't fired. Which means getting unemployment benefits are going to be very hard if not impossible to receive for those employees.

Regarding people that get to work at home via computer and phone, well that's hard for me to gauge here. I hardly interact with office or cubicle occupants except to get paid by a purchasing department or get a sign off by a manager. So, all these empty cubicles could be laid off employees or people working from home, I really don't know.

Back to the company I work for, the small mom and pop owned business. We are bringing in maybe half of normal revenue in service dollars and parts. Equipment sales are around 15% of normal volumes. In normal times, we make 18 to 25% profit on selling a piece of equipment. Now we are quoting machinery at 10% profit as a starting point and have seen competitors selling for as low as 3% profit. Basically, our industry is attempting to turn inventory into cash.

My income is salary plus commission and my commission pay has been virtually nil, with the still looming threat of the salary being cut down.

Of course, all of what I'm writing about is mostly business to business companies. Yet, if people aren't working in business to business companies, they won't have much money to buy from retail businesses.

Clearly, I have some time on my hands this Tuesday morning.
...I don't suppose for a moment you are alone in your observations. And I don't see any quick and dirty way out of the economic apocalypse we are about to experience as a nation. At this point in time, it probably doesn't matter who we elect to govern in the recovery , in terms of the amount of pain. Politically, I'm going for the guys I think (and that's all you can do, even as a supposedly "informed" voter) are going to go forward with policies that share the pain more evenly among the various classes and interests we collectively experience. But even with that going for us (which we do not have now), it's still a whole lot of pain.

Never, in my wildest flights of imagination before this, did I think I would live long enough to experience times like those described to me by my parents' and their generational cohorts in their stories about the Great Depression of the 1930's. My old man lost both his parents when they died in a combination of bank failures and illness. He ended up living in Canada out on an uncle's horse ranch in Alberta. Which then got more or less wiped out by hoof and mouth. My stepfather spent several years working in a CCC camp on various projects.

Now, it's not at all difficult to imagine that my last decade of life will be similarly encumbered. I'm usually pretty positive about most stuff...kind of a "OK it's bad, but let's get moving and do some stuff that makes it marginally better" kind of approach. But I confess that at this juncture, without some miracle of medicine that significantly changes the projection for how we live and cope with this disease, I'm flummoxed. And I am one of the most fortunately positioned of the people here...retired, house paid off, excellent health and a good health insurance package remaining from my employer. I live in what was, before this, one of the more prosperous spots in the country. If I am worried, I can't imagine there are many US citizens who are not.
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Old 08-04-20, 10:00 AM
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Why not take 2% out of your defense spending to help small businesses and people out of work due to Covid 19?
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Old 08-04-20, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Wileyone View Post
Why not take 2% out of your defense spending to help small businesses and people out of work due to Covid 19?
...redacted.
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Old 08-04-20, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...redacted.
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Old 08-04-20, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
Consider the possibility that they would fail or be in serious trouble no matter what the government did. I cannot envision a safe way to run a bar in a post COVID environment.
That's unrealistic. People will congregate. They will consume alcohol. They will ignore the health hazards. The very fact that people drink to excess confirms that they will seek like-minded company, drink alcohol, lose inhibitions and behave recklessly no matter what. There is absolutely nothing that can be done to prevent that. Rigid authoritarian regimes and prohibitions only drive it underground where it literally undermines society by effectively encouraging lawlessness by criminalizing behaviors that many people have considered normal throughout history.

The only hope any functional society has ever had is to encourage and coerce some constraints, reward those businesses that cooperate ("reward," meaning, make a little money and not get tossed into prison), while government rakes in a cut of the profits in the form of taxes and hidden taxes (permit fees, etc).

At best a functional government can encourage or coerce safer facilities for restaurants and bars. Eventually we'll see monetary incentives to modify or build structures with better ventilation and options for social distancing.

As a recent NY Times article points out, in the furor over COVID-19 we're forgetting about the far more deadly devastation of tuberculosis and malaria... because it doesn't impact us severely enough to draw our gnat-like attention span through our daily doom scrolling and regular doses of micro-outrage.

And because the media are effectively complicit with the inept response of this government and medical professionals, we're failing to acknowledge the apparent reality that the vast majority of people who will congregate in bars won't be seriously impacted by COVID-19. The data indicates that younger people will be asymptomatic or feel sick for a few days. It is deadly to the elderly and disabled, folks with comorbodities -- some of which will not earn them any sympathy among the youth: obesity and related diabetes, COPD from smoking, basically the diseases of a poor lifestyle choices in youth.

Eventually it will become impossible to ignore or hide that data and people under age 50 will effectively tell the rest of us to just go ahead and die because we're in the way.

Life will go on without us. We won't be missed beyond a few thoughts and prayers mumbled on social media, while our lightly-bereaved families and friends will keep one eye open for likes on their obituaries about us, and another eye on TikTok.

That's life. Always has been. Always will be.

They will survive and reproduce. Eventually they'll outlive this particular pandemic. We will not.

It sucks for those of us in the high risk group. But the fact is that throughout our existence, while historians and storytellers lauded the importance of wise elders, for the most part those wise elders were figuratively and sometimes literally left to the wolves.

The best we can hope for is to outlive the pandemic long enough to be as much a PITA to the youth who hoped we'd just die and get out of their way, as we were to our own elders.

On the plus side I finally understand my granddad and his curmudgeonly generation. They saw all of this coming.
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Old 08-04-20, 11:23 AM
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Old 08-04-20, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...redacted.
I don't get it. I must be wired differently.

But it looks like Americans are looking for scapegoats not solutions.
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Old 08-04-20, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Wileyone View Post

But it looks like Americans are looking for scapegoats not solutions.
...sacrificing enough of the populace is one solution.
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Old 08-04-20, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...sacrificing enough of the populace is one solution.
You make it sound so easy.
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Old 08-04-20, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Wileyone View Post
You make it sound so easy.
...when you have great leadership again, everything is easier.
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Old 08-04-20, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...when you have great leadership again, everything is easier.
When do you think you will have great leadership again? It seems to be in limited supply.
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Old 08-04-20, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Wileyone View Post
When do you think you will have great leadership again? It seems to be in limited supply.
...it's possible Biden will choose a capable female running mate as VP, then have the courtesy to go to his reward.
But everything is in limited supply here nowadays. Look at the problems we had with TP not that long ago. I hope we don't run out of bacon.
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Old 08-04-20, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...it's possible Biden will choose a capable female running mate as VP, then have the courtesy to go to his reward.
But everything is in limited supply here nowadays. Look at the problems we had with TP not that long ago. I hope we don't run out of bacon.
Never wiped my butt with bacon. But I won a lottery once.
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Old 08-04-20, 09:50 PM
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When he said he'd drain the swamp, what he actually meant is he'd fill it in with enough alligators that you could walk on it instead... walking on alligators never ends well.
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Old 08-04-20, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post
When he said he'd drain the swamp, what he actually meant is he'd fill it in with enough alligators that you could walk on it instead... walking on alligators never ends well.
...I don't know if you've ever visited the place, But I grew up in DC. The whole place in the areas around the major monuments and government buildings consists of a great deal of swamp land that was drained and back filled in some places. There is still a lot of tidal backup in the basin constructed to deal with it between the giant obelisk (Washington monument) and the Memorial built to honor Jefferson (both coincidentally plantation aristocrats, therefor slave owners.)

When I was a kid there in the 50's, the mosquitoes were numerous and ferocious. This history was the inspiration for the Pogo comic strip by Walt Kelly, that still amuses me when I look at some of the reprints of it.

Walt Kelly would be having a ball right now with the current cast of characters. This was his take on Joe McCarthy.



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Old 08-05-20, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...sacrificing enough of the populace is one solution.
Would you say it's more like a 'final solution' or a 'simple proposal'?
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Old 08-05-20, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Would you say it's more like a 'final solution' or a 'simple proposal'?
I wouldn't say that was either. Losing a whole bunch if people is just what happens if we don't suck it up, get our act together and be willing to make some personal sacrifices. If we keep muddling along on our present course, well those people are just going to die. "Solution" and "proposal" imply conscious thought. I don't see much of that from anyone with the power to make changes..
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Old 08-05-20, 11:42 AM
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Those were references, but I got one wrong. Here again with links

Final solution vs Modest Proposal. That latter one was originally a joke. The former was no joke
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