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As a small business owner...

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posted on Mar, 22 2020 @ 09:05 PM
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I have for the last 14 years worked in the oil field in the natural gas compression/reclamation business.

I started as a tech, worked my way up to a lead tech, eventually got in the position to buy out the owner.

I employ 14 people right now with an average wage of $125,000 a year, I pay for their BC/BS Gold health care, pay production bonuses, match their 401K to 4%.

I have a rather awesome team of people who just rock at what they do.

Because of a perfecta of events, oil dropped to where my clients shut their sites down and we are not needed for some foreseeable time.

I have shut my business down and will burn all the cash I have to pay my employees to do nothing until either the market gets better or I lose everything.

This will last about 6 months until the money runs out...

Then my options are to sell the equipment I have for pennies on the dollar, go to bankruptcy and go from there.

I will live through this... I took my chances to take the business over and if it dies I will find something else to do to keep living.

Today however, I got a call from my lead tech wanting to teleconference with everyone.

They have all agreed to take a 50% pay cut so that we can as a company weather this and get back to work.

I agreed, hung up and cried like a little girl for a few hours.

The point of this OP...

Over 50% of all Americans are employed by small businesses like mine.

We contribute to 44% of all sales in this country.

We are 39% of this countries GDP.

We are the lifeblood of the country, we are the ones that keep the lights on.

We are the ones that have EVERYTHING on the line right now...

Simply because we took the risk, put ourselves out there and were willing to lose everything for a dream.

I'm tired of getting sniped on ATS because I'm obviously rich and this current situation doesn't effect me.

I don't have any real money... it's all tied up in my business which does not work without the employees..

This current sitruation effects the people that work for me, which is FAR more important than any of you here.

/rant

edit on 22-3-2020 by Lumenari because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 22 2020 @ 09:15 PM
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a reply to: Lumenari




and will burn all the cash I have to pay my employees to do nothing until either the market gets better


Thank you.
That is a wonderful thing that your doing.



posted on Mar, 22 2020 @ 09:18 PM
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You obviously have the respect of your crew and I sincerely hope things turn around for you quickly. Keep your chin up.



posted on Mar, 22 2020 @ 09:25 PM
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That's is very kind of you. What goes around comes around.

Yes, I understand you completely. Having a business for us in a foreign land too is not very easy. I don't think we will qualify for any govt. handouts at all. And like millions of us here, it is going to hit home very quickly (maybe in 30 days). Right now they (govt ) is pumping up the good news (bad in a way ) that employers are begging for help. Many of the jobs in fact all of the jobs require close contact with people, and I only see this situation getting worse.
We get about 15000 yen or about 30000 yen every 2 months Japanese pension. That's roughly about 270 USD . Hmm. We also get American SS which is quite small, but it will help out. But, if the American DC collapses (great possibility ) will SS still be paid to overseas people. Many retired military people live overseas and and I wonder about their pensions also.

The Japanese now have a saying: The world is a mess
but I don't think they understand the severity of its meaning yet.
edit on 0300000030272020-03-22T21:27:30-05:00273003pm9 by musicismagic because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 22 2020 @ 09:29 PM
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a reply to: Lumenari

You need a cape lady, 'cause you're now my hero.




posted on Mar, 22 2020 @ 09:33 PM
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a reply to: Lumenari

I applaud you, immensely!

At the same time, I fear for our children.



posted on Mar, 22 2020 @ 09:40 PM
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Good group you have there. My guys walked out, really with nowhere to go? I’m in NYC, people are a little more selfish here, dog eat dog.instead working through this there pride gets in the way and any pay cut is considered an insult. Oh well, ya ain’t coming back!!



posted on Mar, 22 2020 @ 09:42 PM
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Lumenari,

I respect you and the tough decisions that you are faced with... It is hard to explain on ATS what I do without giving away too much information about my real identity. Let it suffice to say that I have experience in small and large business... As well as in government and the private sector. I worry about the damage to many small businesses, like yours and others.

The company where I spend the majority of my time these days is a large, global company. I worry about our employees all over the globe and how they have been affected. Our company has definitely felt the consequences of this pestilence. From an operations level, our supply chains are drastically impacted.... Customers and employees alike are impacted. Our leadership has decided to put all unnecessary expenses on hold. All raises and promotions on hold. And to freeze all hiring... Just so we don't have to lay off any employees.

We are a multi-billion dollar company and while I do not think we will go out of business, we feel just as much responsibility for the welfare and livelihoods of our people as you do....

For both our sakes, I hope this ends soon



posted on Mar, 22 2020 @ 09:47 PM
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I already knew you were like that!


Keep up the good work!



posted on Mar, 22 2020 @ 09:47 PM
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That shows what a good and fair boss you have been. Our family business is on the brink over 44 years if you count when my Dad started it. Growing up everybody thought we were well off, but it was just my father and mom working their butts off and like you said putting everything back into the business. This last week it has been nothing except talking with our long time customers about all this. We will survive but it will take a long time to recovery, our industry is normally the first to tank and the last to recover during times like these.



posted on Mar, 22 2020 @ 09:47 PM
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It takes one hell of a human being to accomplish all you have, and still care about your employees.

Most buisness owners worry about their own hide and not much else.

I'm sure you will do everything in your powers to keep everything intact, and I wish you all the best.

Maybe try these guys about research/grant money to keep going?
www.cosia.ca..." target="_blank" class="postlink">www.cosia.ca...

Not much help, I know. But I dont have much knowledge about your industry to be of any actual help.

Keep your chin up lady.



posted on Mar, 22 2020 @ 09:51 PM
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I feel for You and Your Crew. I started an Alcohol business last Year, was doing fine but now 2/3 of Our market is closed and the other 1/3 is focused on Necessities. We probably wont survive this, without some assistance, but I guess that was the chance We took.



posted on Mar, 22 2020 @ 09:53 PM
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a reply to: Lumenari

I'm in the same boat. We survive on a cash only basis, my business survives without credit. We are smaller, only 5 of us now. I let the weakest employee go 2 weeks ago when I saw the writing on the wall.

I was able to secure a loan to keep us afloat for three, maybe 4 months. We are a sales company and already I can see people aren't buying. If we go down in this inferno so be it. My friends think I am well off, they'll see me homeless soon enough.

I'm not scared really. I've been WAY down before in life, homeless AND with a drug addiction. At least this time I'll have the satisfaction that I didn't cause it all to go up in flames.

I feel for you and for all of us. I keep hearing "We're all in this together..." and I keep thinking that's probably what the passengers of the Titanic were thinking when they realized it was sinking.



posted on Mar, 22 2020 @ 10:00 PM
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a reply to: Lumenari

That's a solid crew you got there.
Everyone in our industry knows that if you treat your employees good,nthe will be loyal for life.

I'm in mining.
I get headhunters contacting me weekly over LinkedIn asking if I'm interested and a position at various mines around the world.
I tell them, has to be bare minimum $200,000 a year, + 100k relocation bonus if It's not a flying/out site, and I only work half the year.
Anything less, I won't even open the email.

Loyalty is becoming rarer and rarer as large mining companies take over.



posted on Mar, 22 2020 @ 10:01 PM
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originally posted by: Lumenari

This will last about 6 months until the money runs out...

They have all agreed to take a 50% pay cut so that we can as a company weather this and get back to work.


It's awesome how you want to handle it, but you pay for unemployment insurance for a reason. (every state is different, this could be wrong) If you cut wages now and it lasts so long everyone gets laid off anyways, their wages could be cut in half again.

Think about how long can you pay them and yourself before your unable to reopen the doors and put everyone to work? Then talk to your employees about layoffs with a job to come back to vs bankrupting the company.



posted on Mar, 22 2020 @ 10:02 PM
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a reply to: Lumenari

I would have to imagine that your employees admire and respect you given that they would take half their pay to keep your business afloat. A symbiotic relationship in the professional realm that just doesnt exist in any sort of prevalence today.

Grats, your responsibility to the greatest asset has come back to pay off. Well done Lum.



posted on Mar, 22 2020 @ 10:08 PM
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I feel bad for people like yourself. One reason I chose my career path is because I am a sissy and like the given. I know without people like you the economy would suck. Much respect for you and to all trying to weather this thing with small businesses. I work in healthcare software from home. No shortage of business right now is all I can say.

My small part is supporting local businesses. We are getting take out from all the local restaurants. I'm also starting a major remodeling project with a local company. I was going to do much of it myself as a former engineer but I have the coin and want to help folks as much as possible. Probably dumping 150K the next few months in my town. Not a lot but it's going to help some.
edit on 22-3-2020 by Stupidsecrets because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 22 2020 @ 10:19 PM
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originally posted by: scraedtosleep

Thank you.
That is a wonderful thing that your doing.


Seconded.


Forgive my ignorance, Lum (it's hard enough to concentrate on one country's policies, let alone another's!), but hasn't the US government, like the UK's, offered to pay the salaries of all employees (well, at least 80%) during this crisis? The self-employed have been shafted here, but I thought the US would have already decided to support businesses such as yours.

Obviously not. Any news of possible such support on the horizon?

PS: Like DCB said, you are indeed a hero.



edit on 22-3-2020 by ConfusedBrit because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 22 2020 @ 10:20 PM
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originally posted by: JinMI
a reply to: Lumenari

I would have to imagine that your employees admire and respect you given that they would take half their pay to keep your business afloat. A symbiotic relationship in the professional realm that just doesnt exist in any sort of prevalence today.

Grats, your responsibility to the greatest asset has come back to pay off. Well done Lum.


It's because in a job that has an 87% uptime, we have a 99.8% uptime.

When one of my crew goes to a new site, steps out of his truck and surveys the situation, he is treated like royalty.

We're rock stars.

Simply because we have taken the time and energy to be the absolute best at what we do.

I'm crying again.

We will get through this and be even better.



ETA... if ANYONE tells my employees that Mama Bear is crying, I will hunt you down and kill you.

Metaphorically, of course.


edit on 22-3-2020 by Lumenari because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 22 2020 @ 10:28 PM
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1. stay righteous
2. gimme $$$



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