Weekly Client Update #7 During COVID Crisis

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

I hope you got to spend some quality time relaxing today.

I have several interesting items for you this week.

PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculator

I know many of you did the PPP loan. Here is a nice, downloadable calculator for your use thanks to Craig Cody, CPA.

Woodstock was Held at the Tail End of a Pandemic

No political commentary here other than exemplifying the point I made in my update on 3/27/20 that the 24/7 media today exist to rile us up, scare us into clicking/watching/reading, and addicting us to getting that next update. It was a much different environment in the late 1960s when there was no social media, CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC. Can you imagine a music festival with hundreds of thousands of party-goers taking place in the midst of COVID-19?! As Bob Dylan might have played at Woodstock (he didn’t, I looked it up) “the times they are a-changin’!” Here’s the fact-check article from Reuters: Woodstock was held during a pandemic.

An Interesting Perspective from Simon Sinek

Most of you probably know Simon Sinek as the “Why” guy – he did the Ted talk on “Start with Why”. If you have not seen it, check it out – it’s really good.

But this YouTube video (6 minutes) is a recording from a huddle with his team where he is preaching that these are NOT unprecedented times. It’s an interesting argument, as well as a good kick-in-the-pants reminder that we need to innovate and evolve…or die.

The Great Flattening

There’s a lot of really bad, useless data out there. For example, the media have been reporting – breathlessly – the total number of cases in any given jurisdiction. This, of course, is a meaningless number, especially with the onset of improved/increased testing. What matters are the numbers of cases per capita. So I have been trying to look at raw data as much as possible and have been looking at one graph, in particular, as my bellwether of what is going on. My favorite graph is on Maryland’s official COVID-19 website and shows the number of hospital beds in use, including total beds, ICU beds, and acute care beds. I am happy to note that in the last 10 days, the total number of hospital beds in use has really leveled off. This is fantastic news. Even if we do have a recurrence in the fall, let’s at least take advantage of a nice, hot virus-killing summer and get everyone back to work!

People ARE Still Buying

Finally, a word of encouragement in the data that we pore through. First, for one of our industries that has been really hammered by this shutdown (12 clients in the dog boarding/daycare industry) we are seeing the start of an uptick. Search volume is at the very earliest stage of starting to rebound, much more ins some states than others (Maryland is lagging).  On the other end of the spectrum, we have a client in the building services industry that is absolutely crushing it. Their year-over-year conversions (new sales leads generated) are well ahead of last year, with March 2020 up 72% and April 2020 up 40% over the prior year. That is a great sign that people are still willing to spend. Admittedly, they’ve only been with us for a year and a half and much of that improvement is due to my amazing team’s efforts/expertise, but it’s a wonderful sign nonetheless.

I hope you have a wonderful week. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything.

Thanks!

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