Posted by politicalpartypooper on September 14, 2009

One of the most frustrating statistics in this time of economic turmoil is the one that depicts the unemployment rate in this country.  As it nears double digits for the first time in nearly three decades, one can’t help but begin picturing an economic collapse of epic proportions.  I know that this might sound alarmist; after all, we have not reached double digits in unemployment…or have we?

Currently, I have over 150 clients who are, or were, small business owners before this most recent downturn.  As of last Friday, twenty-three of them had closed their doors to business for good, directly related to the lack of business caused by this recession.  That’s a little more than a fifteen percent fail rate, which is, I am sure, higher than the national average.  Nevertheless, what is significant about this number is not the percentages of businesses closed; rather it is the fact that these small business owners do not receive unemployment benefits, and are therefore not amongst the statistics when considering the unemployed.

These small business owners do not pay for unemployment insurance, do not receive unemployment benefits, and are amongst the most hopeless of cases in our nation.  Not all of them are destitute by any means, but consider the ramifications of a small business owner who was barely making ends meet before the recession hit, and who has since closed his doors.  An employee would receive unemployment compensation if he loses his job; the small business owner will not.

As we approach that dreaded double-digit unemployment number which the mainstream media circles over like a vulture, please think about the fact that if we included small business owners in those unemployment numbers, the actual statistic would be closer to fifteen percent unemployed than ten percent.  Those are numbers we haven’t seen since the Great Depression.

The stock market may be rising, but Main Street America has not benefited from its impact.  The local liquor store, the small family restaurant, the town dime store, the local hardware store are all suffering still.  If you get a chance and don’t mind paying a bit more, maybe your neighborhood drug store is a better choice for that shampoo purchase than Walmart.  Maybe Bill’s Family restaurant takes a little longer than McDonald’s, but the food is better and comparably priced.  Sure there’s no playland or Happy Meals, but your children will remember sitting down at Bill’s, while the thousandth time they’ve eaten Chicken McNuggetswill get lost amongst all the other memories of fast food drive- throughs.

Small business America is dying, and the only number the main stream media cares about is double digit unemployment.  We’re already there; they’ve missed it by over five percent.  If you will, think about your local small businesses; and maybe you can spread the word that they need help, and won’t be getting a $10,000 bail out from the government because Bank of America and others who caused this mess received billions as their reward for being stupid.


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