Dave Jordan: The Wagon
“I miss the people more than anything.
“In a place like mine they know about you and you know about them. Some become your extended family. I just miss that camaraderie of being around people. I hope they’d say the same.
“This December we’ll have been open for 40 years. Lord, I’ve never experienced anything like this. We’re down at least 50%. You get your inventory goofed up. You don’t know demand. There’s so many unknowns.
“The people of Decatur have been awesome. They’ve really jumped in and tried to help local businesses. They’ve done a marvelous job. And right now our team is doing really well given the conditions. They’re struggling just like I am trying to keep things together. They’re drawing pay but it’s not what they’re accustomed to.
“I don’t anticipate this going away very soon. I’m hoping we can last – if the volume we’re doing right now can be maintained, we can survive. If it dips, then we’re not going to survive. I’m rolling the dice, hoping it stays up where it’s at.
“I’m half-frightened about how this shakes out. It’s tough to stimulate an economy that’s been destroyed.
“The things [the state] has done recently tax-wise, lord have mercy. What’s left to tax? You put this progressive income tax on the ballot – you don’t see how that’s going to make things better. The old saying, you can’t tax your way out of poverty … or into prosperity. It’s a cliché but it’s true.
“Isn’t it odd that people like us have to live within our means, but government doesn’t? It makes no sense. This would be a bad, bad time for me to think about raising prices. I hate raising the price on people. [But] you get a state like Illinois that’s been down and out for a while with so much debt – they’re after every dime they can get. They go after everybody.
“I think politicians believe we have a hidden stash of income nobody knows about. I’m sure there are some lucky guys out there with that, but they’re the exception not the rule. A lot of people think that just because you own a business you make a lot of money.
“We’re trying to live on a budget. We don’t have unlimited resources. We’re no different from a guy working down the street. We’re no different except we work for ourselves rather than an employer.”
Owner, The Wagon
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