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  • Writer's pictureAshley Martinez

Transparency in the Smoke

Updated: Sep 13, 2020

I'm scared. I thought this would only last a few months, not almost an entire year.

I've been sitting on this for a few days, hoping someone would call with good news. The only good call I got was from my health insurance company letting me put my late payments on a payment plan instead of canceling mine and Josh's health care. Good news at least, but not the news I was hoping for. My accountant's office finished my taxes, thankfully in time before the extension deadline, but the Pub doesn't have enough money to pay for them to file my taxes. No big deal I thought, now that we have the financials ready, I'll finally apply for the expansion loan! I got all my paperwork together and sent it to my bank contact. She ran my numbers and 2019 was a loss (I pulled reports but didn't look hard, because I knew 2017 and 2018 weren't losses. Turns out I hired too many employees last year). She said with COVID the underwriters were being pickier about who they loan too. My heart broke, but I kept listening, knowing she wanted to help me. She said she'd see about a smaller amount to just cover late bills, and talk to an outside of the bank contact. I also applied online to Kitsap Credit Union for just enough to cover my late bills. I uploaded my paperwork for them to peruse, but their lack of response is telling. My bank contact got back to me and said that even her outside contact was going to have a hard time loaning to me because the Pub and I have nothing for the bank to take in case we don't pay them back. With the rush to get 2019 taxes done and expansion plans, I hadn't stopped to think about Fall and Winter. Business always slows down when people can't drink outside and when days are shorter. Even with a loan to pay off what is late, the Pub would only get back in debt over the next few months. I have been wracking my brain for options, in between crying and feeling hopeless. I can ask for rent deferral (I'll pay it, just later), I'm looking into grants and keeping an eye for any similar PPP type opportunities that I let pass by me before, but they'll likely be a small bandaid for the huge gash in profits that we've been losing because of COVID. I want to look into converting my license from Tavern to Restaurant, but that'll be a small investment with a license fee, a commercial microwave, and inventory at a bare minimum. It might allow for all ages, which might then increase business, but it's a risk. You, dear reader, are another option. I hate asking people for money without being able to give or provide something in return, but I hope most of you see what it is I am trying to get the Pub to provide (outside of the actual goods for sale).

I so desperately want to be a lighthouse in this shit storm, but pushing non-essential shopping during a pandemic (and this weekend's smoke-filled skies) seems irresponsible. So I'll push the Patreon and GoFundMe while checking to see what I can pull from my 401K or my TSP. I can pay for my taxes with my credit card, but without outside help, I will only be able to pay Josh, and the Pub will continue to skip some of its bills.

I have also accepted the fact that I might be in over my head and it's time to let it go.

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