Of all the things small business owners expected to deal with in a post-pandemic landscape, a worker shortage likely wasn’t one of them.
As the economy prepares to emerge from its COVID-19 hibernation, the businesses that used to teem with people such as retail outlets and restaurants are beginning to resemble their former selves. Except, in many cases, for one thing. Their former employees.
Whether they moved on to other things or became content to rely on stimulus checks, many of those laid off because of the pandemic haven’t returned to the workforce, as Dwain Hebda writes this month for AMP.
Some small businesses have had to cut back on hours and/or services because they simply don’t have enough employees. After June 26, supplemental federal unemployment assistance will no longer be available in Arkansas, perhaps spurring some back into the job market. We’ll see.
In the meantime, here’s hoping those struggling small businesses can survive the double whammy.
Cambridge Place of the late 1970s didn’t sit on the actual outskirts of west Little Rock, but the Valhalla of red brick on Pleasant Valley Drive wasn’t far from the edge of town.
When my mom and stepdad bought a condo there in 1977 or ’78, the purchase price was $68,000. How I came to know this, I don’t remember. But for a kid of 12, it sure seemed like a lot.
These days, I see plenty of trucks on the road that I’m not sure 68k would cover. And Cambridge Place barely qualifies as west Little Rock anymore.
With real estate on our minds this month, our hats are tipped to the agents working overtime to help meet demand. As agent extraordinaire Brandy Harp tells us inside, these are unprecedented times when it comes to residential real estate.
For what it’s worth, our friends at Zillow (the Wikipedia of real estate, perhaps?) tell me that the same condo in which I spent my formative junior high years would list for $228,000 today.
Or in these unprecedented times, maybe the owners could name their price. The unit does have some historical value, after all…
The Word of the Month for June, courtesy of (and in tribute to) our own Tyler Hale, is inveterate.
For those unaware, Tyler was our esteemed online editor at AY Media Group. And by the time this June issue hits the streets, he’ll have started a new gig at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.
A government man, a G-man. Yeah, he’d like that. Tyler, of course, is a Harvard graduate. He’s from Wynne but made the unlikely pilgrimage from Cross County to Cambridge (place, not Place) in pursuit of a film degree. (He even did graduate work at Columbia.)
The call of home proved too powerful, but Tyler’s still a Harvard man (as he is wont to remind passersby). And he alone in the AYMG offices would use a highfalutin word like inveterate.
An adjective, inveterate perhaps is most often seen modifying liar — as in, “that son of a biscuit eater is an inveterate liar.” Which, of course, means he/she/it/they is a habitual teller of fibs. Defined as having a particular habit or activity that’s long established and unlikely to change, inveterate comes from the Latin veter- (old) and inveteratus (made old).
Me? I’m an inveterate morning Coke drinker. For us here at AMP and AYMG, Tyler’s been an inveterate hard worker. We raise a glass and wish him all the best on this new adventure that lies ahead. We just hope no one at AEDC asks him for a ride to the airport…
Stumbled upon a quote recently, a very random one indeed. Given the social and political climate of the day, it, well… stood out. It’s attributed to the fourth earl of Pembroke, who is reported to have included it in his remarks to the English parliament on April 11, 1648:
“A parliament can do anything but make a man a woman, and a woman a man.”
2021 might beg to differ.
Last month’s issue included another great Digs of the Deal installment, this one on Central Flying Service of Little Rock. Owner Dick Holbert shared with Associate Editor Katie Zakrzewski some great anecdotes about Central’s political history. But turns out, we got some dates wrong. Henry Kissinger visited Central Flying Service in 1974; George McGovern held a campaign rally at Central the night before the presidential election in 1972; and Ronald Reagan’s last trip to Little Rock was a stop at Central in 1988 while he barnstormed for GOP candidates.
As always, thanks for reading. Hit me up anytime with questions, comments and feedback, good or bad, at MCarter@ARMoneyandPolitics.com.