Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Letter to the President of the United States

Dear Mr. President,

I hope this letter finds you well.  I am writing today to let you know how I feel and what the circumstances I have found myself in these past 3 years.  I am a small business owner here in Smyrna Delaware.  I have been doing business here since September 2003.  My business started in my basement on September 17, 1997.  In those days we were strictly an internet based sales business selling Computers and Computer parts.  Our best sales avenue at the time was a small website call EBAY.  As time went by my business grew, even in 2001.

As time moved forward, we grew to a small warehouse space in 2003 which we rapidly outgrew by 2005.  We expanded our operations and space and hired more employees.  We made payroll each week and paid our taxes each year.  At the onset of December 2007, the official start of the recession, we were still had strong sales.  I look back over the past several years of data.  I review the sales revenue, and I can see the month that the recession started for my company.  That month is July 2008.  Keep in mind that it wasn't a complete halt in sales.  In fact it was a roller coaster sales cycle.  The oddest part was that in January 2009 we made record sales.  Then it got worse.

In February 2009 we had the worst sales month of the companies history.  Cash flow went to zero.  Looking back today, our assessment of the situation was completely wrong.  I immediately pulled cash out of savings to cover payroll and operating costs, telling myself that this was a short term problem.  We then cut all unnecessary spending on advertising and general costs.  We scrutinized all of our bills to see if we could cut costs.  We did a great job having cut our expenses over 20%.  That was not enough, I began the layoffs slowly letting my employees go.  Moral in the company went down rapidly, quality control went out the door.

The next 12 months proved to be the most challenging months that the company has ever seen.  We were down to a skeleton crew, sales were steady but slow.  I injected the last of my savings into the company as it was needed.  Interestingly I remember the month that things looked like they were improving.  In June 2010 we did sales that compared to pre-recession months.  This was a huge injection of cash flow into the company, my skeleton crew worked hard to keep up.  Yet I held back hiring anyone new for fear that this may only be a blip in an otherwise dismal situation.  Well sales have not reached the same levels but they stayed steady.  That is until the "Debt Ceiling debate".  That situation shut the sales down.  Just when we started to catch up on bills and debt we were looking at another slow down.  Here I am with no savings to inject.  Interestingly enough, once Congress and you came to some agreement things improved again.

Now we have the "Job creation debate" and once again sales have flattened.  I hope that you enjoyed your vacation while my employees and I worried about our livelihood.

Mr. President, I tell you my story because I want you to understand that the small business community can not stand the stress of day to day operations while our leaders ignore and otherwise loose touch with reality.  My friends ask me my opinion on the Political issues and I simply tell them that I am an American, I will always support my elected officials.  When called upon to serve I will not hesitate.  I will pay my taxes and fight tooth and nail to survive in this economic environment.  All that I ask in return is that my leaders understand my concerns and fears.  I want them to see the true situation.

A good friend of mine, Bob Anderson said to me while he was liquidating his company's assets and closing BAM Masonry Company, "Bob, I just can't take the stress any longer.  Could I continue along hoping things will get better? Yes, however I just can't." .  To me, Mr. President, this is simply a man that came to the end of his rope.  He lost hope.

Now, I did not vote for you sir.  I was a registered independent voter.  I voted for the Republican ticket.  Quite frankly I am just as upset with the Republicans and the Tea Party.  So do not feel that I am targeting you in my assessment of the situation.  I direct this letter to you because you are my leader.

So, Mr. President, I humbly ask you, NO I beg you "Please take charge of your company, our nation, and lead us out of this."  I mean after-all you are in charge..... Right?