Trimming the fat is not necessarily a bad thing.

January 23, 2009 at 11:39 pm Leave a comment

I read an article yesterday about several well-established retailers who have announced store closings in 2009.  The list includes The Gap, Lane Bryant, Ann Taylor, Starbucks, and many more.

While I agree that the economy is in a bad state and many businesses are suffering unexpectedly large losses, I believe that companies tightening their belts and cutting costs is a good thing.  Many retail corporations have overbuilt during a great economy and are now facing the ramifications during a bad one.  Take Starbucks, for instance.  I can name three Starbucks locations within a mile of my house.  That doesn’t even include the coffee shop in the Barnes & Noble that serves Starbucks products.

mccafe2During a booming economy, people don’t mind forking over $3 or $4 bucks a day for their morning jolt.  Now that many households are tightening their belts, though, customers are still paying for their caffeine – just at places like McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts.  The person at McDonald’s who decided to add gourmet coffees to their menu when he/she did should be given a big bonus right about now.

It angers me that the government is bailing out giant businesses that have been notoriously bad abusers of bloat over the last few years.  The signs of a significant recession have been looming for years.  Why did these companies not start preparing for the inevitable hit that was going to come?  Why did they wait until the boat was capsized before they started bailing out the water?

I realize that these big companies employ thousands of people, directly affecting how much money is pumped into local and national economies by their payroll.  This makes it a national government concern.  But where is the government assistance for smaller businesses, many of whom paid heed to the signs and started trimming the fat in preparation ages ago?  These small businesses are being forced to make big decisions about their futures every single day.  Where is their assistance?

We DO live in a capitalistic society, and I believe in survival of the fittest for business.  However, if government is going to start playing favorites with the big boys, how is the small business ever supposed to thrive?  I am hoping our new Congress will be able to answer this question with some satisfactory solutions for the problems that small businesses are facing.  We need all the help we can get.

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Entry filed under: Life in general.

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