I Got your REAL State of the Union right here

by Daniel J Becker (DOLB for the rest of you)

Well, I thought being tonight is the big night for the President I would give my version of the SOU. This is an update on the flower shop. For any new readers, these are real numbers from an honest to goodness small business.

As you can see from the chart below, or maybe not, I don’t need a loan. I don’t need a tax break. I could use a real national health plan as the medical for this year again, including premiums hit $15K (16.5 and 17.7 prior 2 years). I have a high deductible plan that increased from $6471 in ’06 to $7195 in 2009, 11% up.

No, even if you did the cash for clunkers again, I don’t have the extra cash flow to take a loan. Though the delivery van has 235K miles on it. It’s a 2002 Caravan.

All my loans are fixed, so I’m not worried about deficit fueled inflation as it relates to my monthly payments. My property, even with the 15% loss in the last 2 years based on tax evals is still 1.69 times more than my mortgages and I only have 15 or less years to go.

We’re working with less people at the shop and have layed off our manager/worker (he’s fast, a good designer and can carry the load when we’re not there) to 1/2 time. We’re watching every penny as to inventory, utilities, insurances (I’m getting money back on the WC because payroll is down).

What I’m worried about is this:
Keep in mind, that we were considered a larger than normal shop. If we’re doing this bad, imagine how the wholesalers and everyone else down line are doing. That’s the real trickle down folks!

There is only one thing that will fix it: CUSTOMERS!

It’s not that people are not trying to spend, it’s that they really have run out of money. Note that the credit card sales continued to rise for a year after the account and cash sales started to decline.
The people tried to spend. Now they can’t.

So, let me be clear to the Congress and the President: I NEED CUSTOMERS…WITH MONEY!

Update:  A commentor asked for some more data. 
Ins, Maintenance, Rent, Utilities, and Property/inventory taxes are 13% of gross. Payroll is 25% Payroll is down 14%, but gross is down 16%. We can cut payroll more, but the issue becomes my sweety having some down time. (please no lectures). Payroll was 25% of gross last year. 

Supplies (what we sell) were 48% of last years gross, this year 47%.