- Days left

Recession watch: We've lost some competitors... and it hurts

This post is part of a series about real-life signs we're in a recession.

Normally, the loss of competitors in your field of business could possibly be considered a good thing, giving a boost of orders and income to your own business or employer. In today's economic climate however, the loss of competitors gives me cause for concern. Even as we struggle to accommodate growth in our facility, I'm worried by the downfall of some of our wood products compatriots. I know I've written that it doesn't pay to cry over lost manufacturing jobs, but that doesn't mean we should be without compassion either.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) reports for March that its Small Business Optimism Index is at its lowest point since the second quarter of 1980. Businesses are complaining that increased selling prices are not keeping up with overhead inflationary pressures. Nearly one-quarter of the NFIB survey respondents indicated that they raised employee compensation by a margin which is outstripping profitability increases. I believe that therein lies the downfall of my company's fallen competitors.

One of the biggest concerns I have with these job losses is that they tend not to be felt outside their own regions. We as a country lose a hundred good jobs here or there every day, in a hundred unnamed places. But it doesn't make the headlines because it doesn't sell advertising space. Government statistics never paint the whole picture either. The government bean counters expect that we're too dull to understand that the loss of a well-paid machinist is not mitigated by the addition of yet another undocumented food service worker. They only give you the bottom line numbers, painted with a broad and blurry stroke of the brush.

So, my employer's loss of competitors has a core which tastes quite bitter. As I work my long hours I sometimes pause to think; Was that competitor we lost as much a buyer of my goods as it was a rival? Could my employer be the next to go under, or my neighbor's, or yours? Please say a quiet prayer for the unemployed among us, then get back to work. That is, if you still have it.

Learn about investing from the comfort of your own home.

Portfolio Basics

Take the first steps to building your portfolio.

View Course »

Investment Strategies

Learn the strategies you need to build a winning portfolio

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

5 Hidden Ways to Boost Your Tax Refund

Most of us are looking for ways to pay no more than we owe in taxes, or even boost our tax refunds. Here are five strategies that go beyond the obvious with tried-and-true ways to reduce your tax liability.

What, Me Worry? Last Minute Taxes

According to the Internal Revenue Service, 20-25% of all Americans wait until the last two weeks before the deadline to prepare their tax returns. At that late date, there are only two things you can do: File your taxes pronto, or request a tax extension.

Can't File by the Deadline? Top 3 Reasons to File a Tax Extension

The Internal Revenue Service allows taxpayers to file for a 6-month extension if they need more time to prepare their tax return. You can obtain a tax extension for any reason; the IRS grants them automatically as long as you complete the proper form on time. Check your state tax laws; some states accept IRS extensions while others require you to file a separate state extension form.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum