Seaquest, Congress, President Biden discussed on All Things Considered
The 19th of January. Good is always have you along, everybody. It is going to be a busy day tomorrow for soon to be President Biden and his administration executive orders to issue on the virus in vaccines, immigration and this economy work, of course, to do on the $1.9 trillion relief package he is going to send to Congress. So, as I said, we thought it might be a good idea to step back and assess for just a minute. Exactly where this economy is, as power changes hands while the recovery sputters and the virus remains in control marketplaces Mitchell Hartmann has that story. Joe Biden has kind of been here before 12. Years ago, he and President Obama took over in the midst of the great recession. If anything, this is even worse. University of Chicago economist Austin Goolsbee chaired the Obama White House Council of Economic Advisers were in a catastrophic Health and economic crisis. We're still as bad by some measures as the lowest point of the great recession. We're still down 10 million jobs more than 5% of all jobs before the pandemic. And as the virus surged and lockdowns return this winter, consumer confidence and retail sales fell. The economy started losing jobs again, but the worst is likely now behind us, says Douglas Holtz, taken who was the chief economist on George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisors. There remains a tremendous amount of underlying strength in the U. S economy. If we can sustain those who have been out of work with the relief that we've seen Congress passed and deal with the virus, there's a good platform to jump off from Including lots of pent up consumer demand and accumulated wealth in the hands of higher income Americans. But Brad McMillan at Commonwealth Financial Network warns that low income households and business owners could suffer a lot more in the 6 to 9 months that it'll take for vaccination to induce a post covert recovery if people lose their apartments, their homes that cripples them and their ability to recover. We've seen tremendous tragic damage to small businesses. The longer this goes on, and the less people spend, the more of them are going to shut down and not come back, and that will only make the recovery harder and longer. I'm Mitchell Hartman for marketplace. So Mitchell talked about jobs there in the middle of that piece. We are going to do some jobs through the program today, unemployment being As it is one of the identifying features of this recession. The national unemployment rate was 6.7% in December, down from a pandemic high of nearly 15% in April. If you remember that Still, though, it's close to double where we were before this thing, so joblessness varies widely by gender and race. We've talked about that a lot, also by state, which is where we're going to spend some time today. Unemployment as proxy. For how on even this recovery is Hawaii is where we go first, an economy based mostly in tourism, of course, one of the highest unemployment rates in the country right now, 10.1% Again. 6.7%. Nationally, We got menu powers on the phone. She runs a business with her husband in Kona called seaQuest, Hawaii. It does boat tour for historical ng and seeing man a raise and that sort of thing. Money. Welcome to the program. Thanks for having me guys. This is the standard first question. When I talked to Ah, small business owner. How is business? Business is poor business is dramatically decreased. So let's put it that way. And I would go so far as to say That's an understatement. And we are operating currently this week at about 5%, and that is definitely not enough to sustain us. It's been a painful year to say the very least. Yeah, I'm sure this this question of being able to sustain you. You have been going through this pandemic now, as the rest of us have for 10 months. You were as I understand it closed for a number of months entirely. Um, how much longer can you keep going? Um, I would say, thanks to you know some of the government funding that was made available to us, and we were quick to act on that we could probably sustain until the fall at this rate on guy think that that's Much better than most have fared through this. When we purchased seaQuest in 2015, the company had eight employees and when we shut down in March of 2020, we had 44 employees and business was doing 600% what it had the only first started. So our business model was based on that growth. So when business was completely shut down, the model was thrown out the window and they became survival mode. When you've got a town that is entirely dependent on contours, and one way or another, you're looking at a very difficult time for the residents, and hopefully we survive this. The 35 ish or so people that you've had to lay off or let go. What are they doing now? Do you know A lot of them have moved away. Um some of them are hanging in there, You know, living off unemployment, hoping for another stimulus package like we just got so there'd be an extension of their benefits. But it's tough. Even my husband. He's even taken a side job to support us through this because, of course we had just purchased at home and the mortgage. That was equivalent to what our income was at that time, And so now we have to sustain that. We hope to walk out of this with Our home and our assets in place. In other words, our boats building the boats, Aaron, etcetera, whether we're able to do that, we'll see on the topic of you and your husband taking on other jobs. Um Tell me about your reservations person and what it meant to you to be able to hire one. And then I'm going to guess now. You don't need that person anymore, Right? So you're speaking to the resolution person at this. Whereas right before the pandemic. We had full coverage, and that was a real milestone for us psychologically emotionally. And so now, where glued to the business again and that can be really stressful. We have three young Children were high school sweethearts, So I think that we're going to make it check back in six months, but but we have Had stress placed on us that we could have never imagined. And so we're trying to stay positive, you know, and that's how we we see this. This is an opportunity for us to get back into the business. Dig deep, really figure out some new strategies and then next to diversify. We've learned anything. It's that diversification is critical and hopefully Should we ever face something like this again? There will be multiple Revenue Avenue was for us to fall back on. Look best elected. You my new powers. She and her husband on seaQuest. Why yet? They're in Kona. 100. Thanks a lot. I appreciate your time. Here's my pleasure, kind. Thanks for having me Florida and then Nebraska are gonna round out our state unemployment serve a little bit later in the program traders on Wall Street in the meanwhile we're choosing to see the silver linings in this economy today. Shocking. I know. We'll have the details when we do the numbers. Mm hmm. Also.