A reader writes:
Like the RCP writer, I too am a small business owner that felt the effects of the downturn in the recession. Business ground to a halt in January/February…..we were still getting paid for some contracts that were ending, but by February, no more money was coming. I endured 3 months without a paycheck from my business, my only income coming from the part-time job that I’ve held the last few years to help keep my head above water month to month (thanks Self Employment tax!). Luckily, my parents helped me out as well, and I was able to eat, and pay for basic services.
By the end of February, I saw the writing on the wall, and started looking for jobs. 3 months and 3 interviews later, I got lucky enough to land a position with a large publishing company. During the 3 months, I defaulted on my mortgage, and dug an ever deepening hole of debt, one that I’ve been trying to get out of for the last 3 years. Thanks to the legislation passed to help homeowners in trouble, I was able to modify my mortgage and keep my condo.
During the whole ordeal, I realized the place my business held in the hierarchy of the economy. An interactive marketing company, employing a handful of people, and using freelancers to get most projects completed. I’m not GM, whose end-product is dependent on hundreds of companies supplying all of the individual pieces of that product. I’m not Bank of America, AIG, or any other behemoth bank with billions invested in this economy. I’m small fish, and wasn’t expecting a bailout.
In the end, I had to bail myself out……ditch the pride….and find something new that would pay the bills. In the face of an economy that I can’t control, I waved my white flag. It was the responsible thing to do.