Collateral damage

Many shops closed their doors during the recent recession. Most of them were smaller operations but there were a lot of bigger shops that were not able to survive.

There was a shop right next to mine that was owned by a big development company. The shop cranked out trim packages, closet shelving, doors, and other wood products that went into the thousands of homes the parent company was building. The stuff was shipped out every day by the truckload. Since the housing bubble bursting was one of the driving forces behind the recession, this shop was one of the first to close its doors. It was kind of unnerving because this was a big, bustling, well equipped shop and within a matter of days it was an empty warehouse.

For the shops that have managed to survive, things are starting to look a bit better. But many of these shops are finding that the cost of hanging in there is only now beginning to be felt. The survival tactics included things like borrowing to the hilt, selling off equipment, letting go key employees and some serious multi-tasking.

It’s a bit brighter picture now but there is a lot of fallout to be dealt with. It’s kind of like one of those storms that rage through an area. It’s only after the storm is over that the survivors can really begin to assess the damage.



  • This is so true. We survived and are now dealing with the aftermath ourselves. In our area we were fortunate enough to be in the right place and time to pick up a large amount of work from other companies. It appears that they didn’t have enough work to break even, but enough to help us out. Talk about mixed feelings, we prosper while they suffer. We delayed machine repair and maintenance as long as possible, made our vehicles go for longer than they should, made ourselves live on less money while the company barely survived. Now we’re too busy and trying catch up on this stuff as well as trying to find top-notch employees that didn’t move on to some other trade. Weird, good employees are still hard to find.
    We keep telling ourselves that this is a great problem to have but you still feel like you lived through a horrible experience leaving you damaged for a long time. We won’t be through the debt, maintenance and replacement equipment necessary to get back to normal for a long time.

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