Main street is hurting. Is anyone listening?

It was a cool, sunny, dry Saturday yesterday. Perfect fall day for raking the leaves and mowing the lawn before wet weather predicted to kick in late Sunday and couple of days later. After helping the retired lady next door get her lawn mower started (just assisted by pumping the primer a few times and pulling the cord. Of course she was very thankful and made me feel like I saved her life 😃) I set about mowing the lawn. My mower behaved well long enough to get the lawn done after couple of sessions. The gap was to allow the heated gasoline powered engine to cool down when it stopped. A good afternoon siesta followed. Then it was time to step out for the one constant bit of outside activity during these times: weekend grocery shopping.

As I drove away after shopping from the grocery store I looked at the nearby strip mall. It has an Indian grocery shop and couple of doors away an Indian fast food restaurant. This day something appeared different. I looked closely and noticed that the fast food place was no longer there and in its place a different business was operating. The sign of the recently shuttered Indian fast food shop was still visible even though the new business had its name on. We used to get food-to-go from the fast food shop occasionally. They had also started delivering food after the pandemic hit. Don’t know if it had shuttered its business in the past week or earlier and I just failed to notice it. Another casualty of the pandemic 😢. Businesses big and small have tried to adapt to the tough times to keep themselves going and unfortunately many have bitten the dust. Felt bad for the folks who were running the shop. For the owners and the workers in those shops the experience must be akin to a manager announcing to an employee about their being laid off, both sides feeling miserable about it. One business serving a need shuttered.

Returned home and after taking care of the groceries checked the news online. If I was hoping to read something good no such luck. Record # of COVID-19 cases nationwide with no signs of slowdown on the horizon. I read that the Motorcoach industry has seen a 80% drop in business and one of them, Georgia Coach Tours, is praying they are able to stay afloat at least till the end of this year. Another news item is a similar depressing story. Brooklyn Roasting Company, a popular coffee chain has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the wake of the pandemic. A year ago many of the businesses were not doing bad and some had borrowed, to expand, expecting good times to continue. Now they are running low on money and customers even if they received any assistance from the Government to support them earlier in the year.

Meanwhile the Dems and the Republicans are still wrangling about another stimulus to support the businesses 😡. I get it the Dems don’t want to agree to anything that might help the other side in the upcoming elections. The Republicans want to parade something as achievement before the elections to boost their chances. The Speaker and the POTUS haven’t spoken in a year it appears. They have proven they are good at trading insults. While politics as usual goes on people in the real world are suffering, wondering how to pay their rent or mortgages , how to put food on their table, how to pay for other expenses. Main street is suffering, the people who can make decisions to help don’t appear to be listening 😭.

I switched on the TV to check if there is something I can watch that brightens up the mood. Not much appears to be appealing there either. The sports that I follow are either done for the season or do not have anything going on at the time. Before I switch off the TV I decided to check the channel guide using the DVR. And then something looks promising. It’s what’s on PBS! Interested in knowing what happened next? Follow the next post 🙂

Author: Rajaram 'Raj' Gopalan

Hi All, Welcome to my home in cyberspace! You can call me Raj. Feel free to explore, discuss, comment and most importantly have a good time!

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