As if the lockdowns weren’t bad enough, the monetary response to Covid is killing even more small businesses. From Nickelthrower at theburningplatform.com:
As of the last census, 444,000 Americans owned a small business that was involved with manufacturing. These small businesses employ about 3% of the total workforce. Of course, you’d have a much greater chance of running into a doctor (985,000), lawyer (1,300,000), or real estate agent (1,300,000) than someone the produces things. That means that just 0.0013% of our current US population finds themselves in the same position that I find myself – the owner of a small business that manufactures real-world items.
Manufacturing real-world items require real-world inputs. As for myself, I need steel for the housings, epoxy and dyes for the knobs, aluminum for the face plate, copper for the circuit boards and wire, plastics, diodes, resistors, capacitors, LED’s, relays and on and on and on and on right up to and including various semi-conductors.
Luckily for me, I invested a decade and put in place a system where everything from hand-wound transformers to the cable harnesses materializes within a few days of each other and then the precision tools that I designed can be assembled, tested, and shipped. To make sure this system works, no one that supplies me anything gets paid until the finished product ships and I have the tracking numbers because, well, that is when I get paid.
When working, this just-in-time way of doing business is a wonder to behold. Watching how quickly it all fell apart is also a wonder to behold. 99.9% of what you need is zero.