Money. The world doesn’t run without it, and we never seem to have enough of it. The Finance Issue is one that always comes with quite the discussion of what to include. This year, it was pretty easy. Money and financial issues abound. While the world was jointly going through the biggest crisis of our time, the ripples were and are being felt in areas none of us could have imagined.
Supply chain issues, hiring challenges, tax issues, and so many other things have become a giant problem for us to deal with after the initial crisis. These problems aren’t focused on just the big companies. Small companies are facing it, too. For example, major auto manufacturers (big company) can’t get microchips (from other big company). When this happens, cars don’t get built. When cars don’t get built, they don’t get transported to dealerships (many are small companies). When they don’t make it to dealerships, local companies that do financing, aftermarket installs, and wash cars don’t get to work (small companies). This has been something that has spread like a virus, from not having Powerade at McDonald’s (local distributors) to the great chicken wing shortage (farmers) of 2021. All of these issues affect big and small companies alike.
I often take offense when people say “companies are evil for wanting to make a profit” or “CEOs are greedy.” This is the point of the conversation where I jump in pretty animated. I tend to lean in and ask them if they mean “all” companies or just large corporations. Because, as I point out to them, the small business owners that I know aren’t taking home fat checks while starving their staff. They are trying to put their kids through college. They are cutting their own salaries so they don’t have to lay off their employees whose families rely on those salaries. They are in debt trying to make their dreams work, not flying around the country on their own personal jets while keeping competitive wages and benefits out of the hands of their employees. It matters when people say things like this, because small businesses are the backbone of our country. Our friends and family and neighbors work in them and own them. And . . . (wait for it) . . . I hope they all do make money . . . a lot of money! Because those are the people that I go to when I need to ask for money for our nonprofits, and they give with such a generous spirit that it will make your heart hurt.
What is there to do in a time like this? I’ll tell you. We keep on keeping on, and we hopefully make money. And for the love of all that’s holy . . . be kind to your local small business owners.