I think we can all agree that our #1 resolution going forward is to never speak of 2020 again. Don’t say the word, don’t think the thought, and don’t ever mention it in passing or by accident. Don’t even use the phrase ‘hindsight is 2020’ anymore. 2020 is dead to me. 2020 is not a cuss word, it’s a cuss number. But that got me thinking about dealing with the aftermath of those cuss numbers above as we move into 2021.
When we all do our budgeting and planning, we always look at our numbers from last the year and make plans to sustain and grow those numbers. How do we actually plan and budget for this year after dealing with 202…errr…I mean last year? How do we account for the year that preceded this one? I know for a fact I don’t want to repeat those numbers again. Call me a capitalist if you must, but I’m a pretty big fan of making money and banking profits.
Another thing, many of us will have to deal with is how do the stimulus dollars we received get factored into our tax returns? I was discussing this topic with my tax person, and she just said; ‘we don’t talk about that right now.’ She told me that the IRS hasn’t yet sent down any guidelines for dealing with the stimulus money situation. Since I used some of the stimulus money the government gave me to pay a tax bill to that very same government, do I get taxed on my tax payment? Or is that tax payment tax free? And, how do I get the government to once again give me money to pay this year’s taxes? I could get used to the government sending me a check every year to pay my taxes. That could get addictive.
Another thing we all have to figure out; how do we prove exactly what we bought and/or paid for with the stimulus dollars to make it qualify for grant status? Grant status means no payback is required, right? We’ve all heard the stories of the people that got the stimulus money and bought $100K cars, diamond studded Rolex watches, and lavish spending sprees. But for those of us that tried to do the right thing, how do we account for everything?
When I got the funds, I didn’t open a new bank account. I deposited the money into my regular bank account. The same account I’ve used for decades to pay the expenses of my business. I kept track, via a spreadsheet, of what expenses I attributed to the stimulus money, but it was just regular expenses being paid out of my regular bank account. Only time will tell how this mess will all work out. I just hope and pray it all works out in my favor.
Probably the hardest pill to swallow about the entire pandemic disaster was how much money Amazon made every single minute of every single day! While Jeff Bezos was getting richer, small businesses were shuttered all across America, barely surviving on mere pittances from government stimulus funds. How do we make up for the hundreds of millions of lost revenue across the entire retail sector? About the only thing that I can think of is we just do what we’ve always done; we get back to work. And, we never speak those cuss numbers again.
For as long as I can remember, people have always wanted to go back to the good old days. The very same ‘good old days’ that they were complaining about during those good old days. I don’t think anyone wants to go backwards this time, unless your name is Jeff Bezos, or you own the hand sanitizer factory. But look at the bright side – in 2021, you’re going to be able to say, “I increased sales by 3,200% over last year.”
With the vaccines now in circulation, and the pandemic winding down, we all have to develop strategies to get our customers back in our stores? Heck, a lot of us have to develop strategies on how to get our employees back in our stores. Working from home has its advantages, but working from work is usually better. Trying to get your ‘pajama clad from the waist down’ team back into a 5 day commute is going to be an interesting conversation for many employers. Explaining to Karen that you’re still the boss and she has to come in, and begin the daily commute this winter, is not going to be an easy conversation.
With everything that many of us lost, there is one thing a lot of us gained. Weight! Anyone have any tips on losing the ‘Quarantine 19’?
Well, it’s January and we all get another shot at making this a great year. Stand up tall, shake off all of the bad stuff that happened, and get out there and make it happen.
Happy New Year everyone!
And remember, Southern/Mid-America Jewelry News has started running some of my old columns in their e-Newsletter. They call it Chuck’s Greatest Hits. If you’re not getting the newsletter you can sign up at southernjewelrynews.com or midamericajewelrynews.com. Click on subscriptions and then newsletter signup.