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This is approximately how long my business can run with no revenue on the amount of liquid cash assets I have on hand. 12 weeks. What is at the end of that 12 weeks? Unknown. At that time, will we be in a recovery phase enough to plod on? Will sufficient revenue return to dig out of the pit of the Wuhan reckoning? Will there be enough cash left to pay the IRS in July? Or will 12 weeks result in little change and I just walk away and lock the doors, let the bank have my building back, wish my employees well in their lives and bid adieu to 15 years of sweat equity?
My husband and I work together…we often tell how we started our business in 2005 with two laptops (bought on credit), a donated desk ,and a card table in a shared office space. I left a job in government with a guaranteed paycheck and benefits to join my husband on this adventure. (Our four young children at the time didn’t know how lean those years were.) We started with no employees, existed on a bank credit line, then hired one employee, then two, rented our own space….survived 2008-2010 recession…hired a third employee…bought our own building….hired more employees…opened additional locations…hired more employees…plowed our “profits” right back into our business in salaries and development and hiring of staff, expansion, and buying goods and services from other businesses.
Last year, our business supported 18 families and put $1M in payroll into the pockets of our employees. My husband’s 2014 Chevy has over 200,000 miles on it from going hither and yon to support the business, and he and I work six days a week most weeks. While with us, our employees have supported their families — they have had babies, sent kids to college (and graduated them!), taken a real vacation for the first time, helped their senior parents, bought their own houses and quit renting. We are a “work family.” Three employees will be let go this week, two others will be asked to go part-time. In 12 weeks, my work family could be torn apart.
At the end of the day, my husband and I will be ok together. Our children are all young adults now – one in the military, two in college, and one in trade school. They will survive too. I am grateful for the ride we have had and am proud of what we have done together. I hold out hope that this will pass and we can continue. Whichever way it goes, I’ll know more in 12 weeks.Published in