Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I didn’t do that?

My life has been a little on the hectic side, and so my news watching has been at a minimum. I missed the initial flap over President Obama’s remarks regarding who really made it possible for a small business to succeed.  As much as I can appreciate his desire to give credit to government and the public in general for their help, I take exception to his proposal. My husband and I have owned a pizza store for the past 8 years, and not once have we had a government employee step in to cover a shift when an employee didn’t show up. For many years, I have been the official fill-in and cancelled many personal plans in order to go to work and provide sufficient staffing at our store. If an employee doesn’t show, as an owner, your shift doesn’t end just because the schedule might indicate that it does. We are NEVER off the clock. If we can squeeze in a vacation, we don’t have the luxury of being compensated with vacation pay while we are gone, and quite frankly, in our absence, no one cares for our business in the same way that we do.  I also don’t believe any government official has lost even one night’s sleep over how all my financial obligations will be met each month. In fact, the government gets paid even before I take home a paycheck. We take all the risk, and we are the very last to get compensated.  We fulfill our loan obligations, compensate our employees as generously as possible, cover our food, utility, and maintenance costs, send our rent check, pay our mandated insurance premiums, and cover our property, payroll, quarterly income, state, and sales taxes, and then we might be able to cash our payroll checks. Not only is the government paid in a timely and fair way, but they have the right to audit my bookkeeping practices. For example, last year, we were scrutinized during a sales and use tax audit. Because I had been honest in my obligations, we did not owe any additional funds to the government, but the additional fees incurred from my accountant for the audit cost me over $1,200. Sometimes it seems that the government's interference of licensing and regulations could be the difference between my success and failure as a small business owner. Now granted I totally understand that the government has been the driving force behind the building of the roads that allow customers to access my store; however, their constant construction over the past 3 years in front of my business has almost been its demise. If it wasn’t for our saving money in times of plenty, we would have gone under during the last few lean years. We didn’t require, expect, or even assume that the government should bail us out. We simply just went without a few extras and worked a little harder. And yes, when possible, we even made donations to support our local school and youth groups. I always understood that if I worked hard to make a business successful, then I would be compensated for my efforts. And, I invite all to do the same. So, in all due respect Mr. President, I did do that!