Interesting responses yesterday to my request for 'silver linings' in the economic cloud.
I agree with most of them, with a few 'yes, buts...' For instance, my friend Wes brought up the lower gas prices, which I think kept Christmas in Bend from being a complete disaster. Jesse's suggestion that a winnowing out of retail will help the survivors. Yes, but...we will have to endure endless liquidations and 'going out of business' sales over the short run.
The Short Run.
Not to change the terms in the middle of the argument, but I think I was really referring to the time span of the next six months. And the limited area of Downtown Bend.
But in talking to the Bulletin reporter, I realized I was -- to say the least -- ambiguous about it. I can't speak for others, I can't predict the future (as Jesse says, that would be foolish.) I find myself being negative until someone points out I'm negative, and then wanting to give 'yes, but...' answers. Or I find myself being positive, until someone acts surprised, and then giving 'yes, but...' answers.
"You were going to kill me, weren't you!"
"Well.......yeah. BUT I was CONFLICTED about it!"
So part of it is, I'm very negative about the short run, the next six months. Less negative about the rest of the year -- after all, my three biggest months, July, August and December come in the second half of the year. And even less negative about the long run -- two or three years down the road.
After all, what better place to be in Bend than Downtown? Where else are you likely to get significant foot traffic? I can look forward to the Oxford Hotel opening, and the shops at the base, further increasing development west of my store where there used to be nothing.
It's about ME.
And finally, my own financial circumstances are the best they've been in 25 years of business. Partly because I planned for this event, and haven't really been hurt by it so far. (What good would it have done me to have five good years, and then give it all back in the last year?) Plus my experience.
But mostly, I don't have that nearly 10 years of paying back my credit cards with 40% of my gross profits. Imagine trying to do that.
So, yes....things are going to be tough. But....I think we'll be all right.
Watched Charlie Rose last night, and he had a couple of Nobel prize economists on; and boy were THEY NEGATIVE! Interesting how the experts have turned completely bearish, while formerly bearish (Jesse?) seem to be looking for the upside.
Secondly, turns out that my State Accident Insurance Fund -- SAIF -- which I have to have to hire an employee, wants 525.00 from me whether I have an employee work one hour this year, or every hour this year. "It's the minimum."
So, if I don't intend not to work every day this year, I'll have to pay whether I like it or not. So...525.00 less cash than I thought.
16 hours ago