(May 16, 2020) While many non-business owners in America have derided proprietors who have opened their doors and then found themselves arrested and fined, a Bloomberg survey has shown that 52 percent of small business owners “expect to be out of business within six months.”
The so-called Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent government lockdowns have taken a terrible toll on many small businesses already. Thousands have already closed their doors forever. Thousands more are expected to soon join them.
Many small business persons’ livelihoods have either been wiped out forever or severely damaged by a sudden lack of income. In one well-known case in Texas, a Dallas salon owner was harassed by local officials for opening her business to customers. Arrested and fined $1,000, she was further pilloried by some angry citizens on Facebook and Twitter platforms for trying to keep her business alive, to keep her financial viability and her family intact. On the other side of the Covid lockdown argument, however, which says the government has no right to shutter businesses it arbitrarily deems “non-essential,” many others hailed her as a hero exercising her constitutional rights.
The argument will likely never end, because most people have either made up their minds that the government has the right (despite the U.S. Constitution), or else that the government does not have the right, to shut down whatever businesses the government deems “non-essential.” People can, and might, fight from now until doomsday, about what constitutes or doesn’t constitute an “essential” business; but at no other time in the history of our country have people been banned from attending their own church services while pedophiles, rapists, and other predators have been released from jail over competing arguments centered around a possible viral infection.
Wisconsin Court unlocks Lockdown
The public acrimony continued In Wisconsin this week, where the state’s supreme court voted 4-3 to overturn the governor’s lockdown, which was supposed to stay in effect until May 26.
Anti-lockdown supporters celebrated pictures of Wisconsinites drinking beer shoulder to shoulder in local bars on May 14, while those in favor of lockdowns issued harsh social media attacks (studies have shown that 80 percent of social media exchanges are negative, combative, dismissive of others’ feelings and opinions) that said those foolhardy souls drinking in crowded bars would be sorry, as they were entirely irresponsible regarding the rights of others whom they would presumably later infect with the “novel” virus.
For common ground, most reasonable people on either side of the lock-down debate would seem to agree – and most of the “experts” with them – that ending the lock-downs could result in a new wave of Covid-19 infections.
The good news for most small business owners is that the lockdowns are starting to end; the bad news is that many small business owners are facing a “new normal” in which their monthly revenues are projected to be down by 30, 40, 50 percent, or worse. Overnight, many small businesses that were once barely profitable have been transformed into businesses that are bleeding a lot of cash each month, and many of them simply are not going to make it.
The data comes from a new survey that the Society for Human Resource Management recently conducted, which found that 52% of small business owners expect to be closing their doors within six months.
14 Million Businesses Threatened by Lockdown
“SHRM has tracked Covid-19’s impact on work, workers, and the workplace for months,” stated SHRM Chief Executive Officer Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. “But these might be the most alarming findings to date. Small business is truly the backbone of our economy. So, when half say they’re worried about being wiped out, let’s remember that we’re talking about roughly 14 million businesses.”
While all mainstream media touts a vaccine which has not yet been invented and which may even prove impossible to produce, and while many remain leery or skeptical of a vaccination of any kind, the only thing that seems certain is that this so-called pandemic appears poised to continue taking a terrible toll on small businesses.