• G.N. Benefield, Ph.D.

Editorial - Business Closings: Cause, Effect, Recovery

News media, government, and individuals from many political, ethnic, nationality, location, type of employment, condition of health, age, type of business, all are talking and bickering about the cause. Today, we are concerned about the costs of government actions; stores are closed, streets are empty.

Beginning on April 17, guidelines will reduce numbers of customers, increase sanitation, masks, gloves, and other common sense efforts to keep from catching other ailments (influenza, colds, etc.) will be used to mitigate future spread of the virus. These measures could have been implemented January 21.

Guess What? If businesses were recommended to use these measures in the beginning, Those who were at risk recommended to self-quarantine, it would be no different than on April 17. Except, business would still be open. A minimal number of states and cities would have been locked down. Media, governors and mayors, and some medical made draconian policies based on WHO (China Controlled), China news releases, and media outlets and politicians closely associated with China.

Many governors recently attended a symposium put on by China. Senators and candidates running for office have close ties to China. Many of the medicines available in US come from China. PhArma and news outlets down played a generic which has reported great effect, as they scramble to create new drugs and mitigations which will help people, and the medical companies. With liquor stores and headshops open, and so many stores closed that seem arbitrary, one could be reminded of an old song lyrics (White Rabbit):

One pill makes you larger And one pill makes you small And the one's that mother gives you Don't do anything at all

Go ask Alice When she's ten feet tall

There are opportunity costs to the governor's and mayor's actions:

Cities and states have funded mall projects, airports, community centers (that compete with local gyms), creation of car dealerships and more with TIF and other tax funds shifting property tax liability to residents, Sales tax revenues are down 80%.

As a box store owner, it may be months or years before we get back to any pre-2020 norms. Zona Rosa, above, was built in KCMO with city funding near the Airport. They just funded the airport with city funds and airline funds. Airlines are down 95% and will be slow to recover.

The bad news: Cities, counties, and states will be going bankrupt as these projects fail to recover.

Whose to blame? City, county, and state legislatures and mayors, commissioners, and governors that created the tax scheme and then shut down all businesses.

The internet will work for large store sales, as box stores fail and close. The real pandemic may be chronic unemployment that follows as in-store customers do not return. For entrepreneurs, visibly on the internet will be the challenge. The future for the individual entrepreneur may lie in cooperative efforts where their products and services are similar to different departments in a large box store.

Recovery for small businesses will depend on reach to new clients, retention, and developing products and services that will still be needed after the Christmas buying season. We would not recommend a large investment in halloween products.

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