COVID RELIEF: THINK SMALL AND BE GENEROUS
Acts 4: 32-35 – The whole group of believers were of one heart and soul. Everything was held in common, proceeds were distributed to each as any had need and there was not a needy person among them.
What will you do with your next COVID relief check?
If our last experience with “COVID relief” is any indication, those of us who have jobs – even less-advancing or less-lucrative ones during the COVID-19 crisis – will probably save it. The Fed reports that the US personal savings rate peaked at 33.7% in April 2020 vs. 7.5% in April 2019! (Estimates are that the PSR will stabilize just above 14% for all of 2020.)
Should we care?
When those of us who are employed don’t maintain usual spending patterns, businesses and agencies that opened or expanded to accommodate us get hurt.
Consider your local dry cleaner: According to CBS and the National Fabricare Association, independent dry cleaning sales were down 83-90% in the 2Q2020! (Here’s some good news? The decline leveled off around 50% once staying-at-home workers decided to clean their curtains and comforters. YIKES!)
Now, folks, how about doing a quick calculation on your 2020 COVID savings. I’m gonna to bet that most work-outside-of-the-house professionals saved at least a few hundred on dry cleaning in 2020 alone.
So, when you get your next COVID relief check, why not pop-over to your local (dry cleaner) and give them a bonus? It’s not only right and good; it just might end up saving your suit.
Small businesses, the unemployed, and local governments, systems and agencies will hardly benefit from the second stimulus package:
· Small businesses will receive no relief beyond PPP;
· The unemployed get a $300 supplement for 11 more weeks – not nearly long enough time to open up the economy after broadly distributing the COVID-19 vaccine;
· There are no stimulus funds for transportation systems like local MTA/subways and busses, no relief for schools with dramatically increased costs during this period of on- and off-site learning, no relief for public healthcare providers, et al; Just wait ‘til rates go up across the board next year! #RegressiveTax
Truth: A $600 stimulus check for American citizens earning under $75,000 could be more progressively distributed to those who are unemployed or grossly underemployed. Since that’s not how our legislators negotiated on our behalf, let’s think small…and be generous.