The ultimate sacrifice usually refers to our soldiers dying to protect us on distant shores.
In 2020, the ultimate sacrifice was mandated by our government of businesses across our nation. They were asked to shutter their doors with no guarantee when or if they could be reopened.
- Covid-19 causes government to mandate business shutdowns.
- Stock Market tumbles wiping out retirement funds and investment accounts.
- Demands of government programs skyrocket.
- Taxes do a nosedive.
- The spiral begins, and if it goes too far, it cannot be stopped.
The only depression we have seen in our country lasted 10 years. Its impacts were felt worldwide and led to a huge displacement of populations, of homeless and jobless people, and the rise of totalitarian governments like those of Germany, Russian, and China.
As we teach at SAVE, we are all in this economy together, small business, large business, and government. If one link breaks that chain ∞∞∞ we will not like what our world looks like.
We have seen our Federal Government recognize that what they have asked us to do could seize up our economy. For that reason they have set up programs to speed up the process of getting back on our feet, economically, as quickly as possible; while at the same time they have slashed through cumbersome regulations that stood in the way of getting massive medical help up and running, across the nation.
We have seen the private sector step up with innovations from 3-D masks, to converting their facilities to make needed items like ventilators and sanitizers.
Now we need to see two more things get set in place. Private business owners need to get out their pencils and figure out what it will take to startup again as QUICKLY as possible. You can call it your “I Survived the Pandemic Plan.” Then you need to contact your banker and the SBA. Our Federal government has made the decision that we need to be ready to start-on-a-dime, not slowly ease out of this, so they set up several programs to get that done. There are combinations of low-interest to no-interest loans. There are funds that will--be given out as loans, converted to grants and just be forgiven. This is not about a hand-out because you made bad decisions in your industry like the banks did in 2008. This is about a rescue to help small businesses survive to restart their business. You think you will not need this help? Think again, we do not yet know when that startup date will be. Just today Governor Inslee extended the “stay-at-home” notice to all Washingtonian's. We simply need to be ready, now. If it turns out that you do not need the funds, then you can give them back. These are loans not handouts. Your Federal government has done what you asked; they've taken out the red tape and trusted you to use these funds to help stop an economic spiral into an economic depression. Uncle Sam is relying on you to start back up!
The second component are our state and local governments. Most state governments have shown a rocky start to protecting us and unfortunately, Washington has fallen into that category. In failing to take the outbreak in Seattle seriously, we have helped it to spread, not only to the rest of the state, but across the west. We are seeing how state regulations have hampered our access to doctors from other states, we have seen how state and local governments have ignored reports of medical shortages in space, doctors, nurses, equipment and supplies. Most of us never knew these acronyms: PPE, EIDL, PPP, and SBA—bet you do now. We have seen many school districts ill prepared to “go-on-line”. This is hard to understand in a state that is the home of Microsoft and Amazon and has a large Google presence.
Yes, Washington’s elected state legislators should have put the last two years bonanza of taxes into a rainy-day fund, but they did not. Now they must “catch-up” to the economic realities of a pandemic. We need less hand wringing and more pencil work at our state and local governmental levels. They need to come up with their ”I Survived the Pandemic Plan.” It is the obligation of every government entity, to make sure that regulations and taxation are at a minimum in order to ease the financial pain of restarting businesses. The time is now—yet we have not heard the Governor call the Legislature back into a special session; we hope to hear that call-to-action soon.
It is time for all of us to do our patriotic part – sharpen our pencils and be prepared to get back to work.
`Lorraine Newman and Kris Halterman