Coronavirus killing more businesses than people
I keep hearing people talking about "non-essential" workers and "non-essential" jobs. I'm curious, as a small business owner for 18 years and dying a slow and steady death, what makes a business "essential?"
Front line workers are obviously important, even critical, but isn't the income of a father or mother who has a family (or not) who's livelihoods depend on these incomes critical? Are their incomes not essential, critical? If we cannot pay our bills, we won't survive ... we die an economic death. At what point do we say enough is enough? Three weeks, 10 weeks, 18 months when there is a vaccine? Will we all be required to take the vaccine? Is this the death of "liberty and justice for all?"
What is the ultimate price of an economic death? What is the price of preventing people from going to the doctor for normal wellness exams and ongoing health screenings? Yet, if I want coverage, I better pay my bills. How do I continue to pay my bills? Put these costs on credit card statements? These also have balance limits and high-interest costs.
Facts and stats don't lie.
Here are Oregon's last coronavirus stats (as of April 14):
Confirmed coronavirus cases: 1,584
Total coronavirus tests: 31,121
95% of Oregonians tested are negative.
Half of Oregon's deaths have occurred in senior care facilities.
I believe we can reopen our businesses and we can do so smartly and safely. Governor Brown said today: "We have to be careful, but we cannot stand still."
Yet, our politicians (who are being paid) are standing still and watching a slow but certain economic death to many more Oregonians than those affected by the coronavirus. Let's all be on the same playing field. No one earns an income until we are past this virus.
I bet many "essential" workers would disagree. So, in the meantime, the non-essential people and businesses perish. We are on the Titanic. While the first-class passengers float safely in life rafts, I watch many passengers fall to the icy waters to a certain death ... while I wait my turn!
My essential business question is this: What is an "essential worker" and an "essential business" and who has the Constitutional authority to decide?
I'm very curious as a business owner.
Kim Beeler is owner of Beeler Marketing, a Lake Oswego-based boutique PR agency serving a range of business clients. She can be reached a beelermarketing.com or 503-908-0808.
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