It was a whale of a Thanksgiving holiday for many here in the U.S. There was much to be thankful for.
Retail sales were up 13% for the weekend, which was great for retailers. This is also good news for all their vendors, whether they supplied the merchandise that was sold, or services to support retailers. The third annual Small Business Saturday also appeared to be a big success, helping local businesses that employ over half of all working Americans. We know that our clients who sell to small businesses want to see them have more profitable sales in order to pay existing receivables and stay in business for future sales.
While all too many Americans are still struggling (1 in 5 homeowners owe more than their house is worth, and unemployment and underemployment still affects 1 out of 7), many are thankful to be better off than a year ago. Most of us are thankful that we are down to one war instead of two, and we have 100,000 fewer Americans in harm’s way than a year ago.
Even the rhetoric around the fiscal cliff continued its positive trend. While it may be counterintuitive to many, our commercial collection agency has always done better in good times than in bad. Even when the economy is booming, companies and individuals get themselves into credit problems, so there is plenty of collection work. At least when the economy is good, there are more opportunities for those in debt to find alternative sources of funding or new ways to earn themselves out of debt, and therefore it is easier for us to create collection success. So, we are rooting for our politicians to come up with an agreement that avoids a short-term tailspin yet deals with the long-term issues before they become cataclysmic like we seen in some countries in Europe. Can you imagine how our industry would fare if we had 25% unemployment and negative growth for four straight years?
Personally, I was thankful to spend time with family members I haven’t seen since last Thanksgiving, take a much needed break, and reflect on all that my family and I have to be thankful for. And I had an awesome experience while surfing. While paddling back out and climbing over an incoming wave, suddenly only 15 feet away was a whale just floating on the surface. While my heart was pounding, it was exhilarating to be so close to such a large and magnificent creature. It reminds one of how beautiful a world we live in and how resilient we can be despite the struggles of daily life. I hope you and your family had as nice a Thanksgiving holiday.