Publisher’s Corner

S.O.S. … A Note from a “Real” Small Business;

Needless to say, times are tough. The month of May is going to be a time of great trial for all citizens of the world. As people clamor to get back to some sense of normalcy, it appears we might be turning the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic around the globe. In the United States we are experiencing a physical and psychological shutdown like we have never seen in our lifetime. The challenges are great and taking a toll on so many. People are taking to the streets in political protest of national, state and local restrictions on their lives. People are dying and families are suffering grief and loss like no other tragedy in modern times. Small businesses are on life support and the initial financial life boat came and went so quickly leaving most small businesses stranded on the shore. At the time of this writing, Congress just passed an additional financial plan to send more money to small businesses. As a small business ourselves, who did not receive any financial help in the first Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), we are in limbo like so many of our other brother and sister small businesses. And I mean small business, mom and pop shops with less than 10 employees. Without the government’s help at this point, many of us may not be around for a third or fourth lifeboat to reach us. I never understood how “small business” is defined as any business with less than 500 employees. Seems to me that 200, 300, 400 employees is at least “medium-large” business. And those people need jobs, too, don’t get me wrong. But the really small, independent, main street businesses like ours and those who advertise in our magazine, often can’t find financial help in other places like the “medium-large” business can. Some of these “medium-large” businesses received millions of dollars. Real small businesses are asking for a pittance compared to those lofty requests and we were left in the queue. We were told to apply early and with the bank we have done business with for decades, and we did. Only to hear that they never sent our application to the Small Business Administration because the money had dried up. Why doesn’t the SBA just offer no interest loans to small businesses during these hard times. If small businesses, really small businesses, go under, this country will be left without a backbone. With online sales already hurting so many small mom and pop shops, our government needs to think long and hard about the lives of “real” small businesses and not only look to help those “small businesses” with hundreds of employees. Sure, we may only have less than 5 employees, but we also have numerous independent contractors who help put out our magazine and put on our Natural Living Expos. They count on us for jobs. Many are affected dearly when a “small business” tanks. We hope that help is on the way and we will be able to bring you The Healthy Planet magazine for years to come just like we have since 1997. We have had to cancel our traditional Spring Natural Living Expo. But we are excited to offer our Virtual Expo online at www.thehealthyplanet.com. We hope that you will visit the Virtual Expo and will find something that will help you live a healthy and sustainable life. In the mean time, we will continue to try to stay as solvent as we can in these difficult times. It isn’t easy to have to count on the government, but at this point, like so many other “small businesses” we don’t have much choice. We can only hope that someone with some common sense understands the true meaning of “small business” and gives priority to those most likely to drown if they don’t get into the next lifeboat when it comes floating along from Washington, D.C. 

Support “Small” Business, J.B. Lester; Publisher