Coronavirus Infects Stock Market: Part XLIII
You can kiss this summer goodbye. This weekend Newport opened for business, but it’s hardly open. There were cars driving along Thames Street, but hardly the traffic you see on a typical Mother’s Day. Most of the cars were just driving with no intent on stopping. The two restaurants I saw open had maybe four customers combined.
Hotels are already thinking about next summer—if they survive. Governor Raimondo still has a 14-day quarantine requirement for out-of-state guests. Hotels can’t take reservations until they know when the quarantine will be lifted. You simply can’t run a business that depends on making plans months in advance when the governor runs the reception desk.
We drove to Massachusetts this weekend because Rhode Island’s so-called opening restricts groups of more than five. It’s insane. Life cannot go on like this, and certainly businesses can’t.
You read in the Wall Street Journal Saturday:
Businesses are also going under. This week J.Crew and Neiman Marcus filed for bankruptcy, and many more will follow. Some over-leveraged companies may have failed anyway, but many small businesses that were healthy before the government-induced coma are closing permanently. Consider Griswold’s Tavern in Newport, Rhode Island, or an iconic Italian bistro Biba in Sacramento, both of which had been around since the 1980s.
Customers of an ice cream shop in Mashpee, MA verbally berated their server for having to wait too long. Can you imagine how impossible the public will be now that they hold all the cards? If you’re a business owner, why stay open? What’s the point?
Newsflash to the governors gone wild: Business owners have a choice. They are not stupid people. They are not going to play the game when the rules continue to change. They don’t want to be treated like the bad guys.
At the core of every business transaction, the customer has a choice. Now it’s the governor propping up the customer and telling businesses how to operate. That doesn’t work. The only ones who come out alive are the big guys and the politically connected. The governors are protecting the rich.
You can kiss this summer goodbye, and if this continues, summers will never be the same again in Newport.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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