The stimulus provided the foundation for us to rebuild. You cannot hire when you don’t have the revenue. But the PPP provided the means to start again, y entonces, like training wheels on a bike, once the stimulus ran out, we were balanced enough to carry on. By late October, we were able to build back to almost 70% of last year’s revenue. That’s not enough to pay all the bills, but it’s enough, when supplemented with cash from savings, to keep the doors open.
Pero ahora, with Covid cases skyrocketing, the nation faces another potential round of restrictions and closures. Thanksgiving week is traditionally one of the busiest weeks of the year, and it sets the stage for the frantic holiday season. Este año, we had one of the worst sales weeks ever. Further alarm comes from the fact that what few corporate and private parties we had booked for December have cancelled — they just cannot see a way to host an event safely in the current environment.
Catering used to be 15% a 25% of our overall business. This year it is less than 8%. Our industry has done a great job of telling our story and asking our dedicated customers to invest in us by buying gift cards. But our annual gift card sale we host each November netted 23% less this year. The bottom line is that we may only earn 55% a 60% of last year’s revenue at this point, and in the best-case scenario of a slowdown — not a shutdown — we are on a course to be dramatically financially damaged. In the case of a shutdown, we doubt we could recover.
This is the case for many small businesses at the front lines of the pandemic. Main Street businesses are suffering mightily, and many were dealt a deadly blow in the first wave. The federal government must do all it can to support those still fighting so they are not casualties of this next wave. That means more stimulus.
As a small business owner, I plead that Congress and the executive branch coalesce around a new stimulus package that provides support — like the PPP — to those who can prove they truly need it.
Por supuesto, one size does not fit all, and many businesses and industries who benefitted from the PPP loans in the past did not really need them. Passing a means-test-based PPP during this month’s congressional session would provide the life raft so many of us on Main Street need to make it to 2021.
The letter to my employees I wrote in March was the hardest one I ever wrote. If I have to do it again, it will be the last. There will be no way to do it all over again.
I beg elected leadership to release targeted stimulus to keep Main Street businesses like mine open. Por ahora, and for tomorrow.