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COVID-19 Coronavirus: Once Again, US Government Policy Screws the Self-Employed and Small Businesses

As a self-employed person I was not surprised* to see the ham-fisted vote-buying ass-protecting approach to “virus relief” afforded the conventional worker in the recent bill addressing Coronavirus impacts on the economy: all good for the regular corporate worker and big corporations.

COVID-19 is equal opportunity—Congress and Trump just tally vote percentages.

I am not so much opposed to the recent relief bill as apalled at the callous indifference to the impact on the millons of Americans who are self-employed, or who run a small business as I do. Witness this email below from the outfit that runs the Solvang Spring Double which I was planning on riding this next Saturday—Congress gives the middle finger to them and me and everyone busting their asses to make it on their own—which is challenging to say the least. We’re not a big enough voting block.

It is with heavy hearts that we’re forced to postpone the Solvang Double Century until October 17th. San Luis Obispo County cancelled our permit. USA Cycling cancelled all permits; and with that, our insurance. Santa Barbara County is calling for all non-essential events to postpone and businesses to close. Santa Ynez Valley residents were concerned about the Solvang Century, causing it to shut down two days before the event. Local restaurants and businesses are suspending operation. While we do believe we could have made our event safe, our hands are tied. We do not want to jeopardize our ability to obtain permits for future events. More importantly, we respect the public health concerns and want to be sure everyone stays safe and healthy.

We share your frustration and anger. It certainly feels that the world has gone crazy. But let’s each take a long, deep breath. We are in this together. We know each of you has trained and has looked forward to our event. We too have put countless hours and energy into planning and preparation. We are devastated by this turn of events. For Planet Ultra, this isn’t just about this Double. We’ve had to cancel our Solvang Spring Tour and Gran Fondo Las Vegas, and reschedule our new Mt. Laguna Classic. We certainly hope the situation will diffuse before Mulholland, but that event is also in jeopardy for rescheduling.

Most, if not all of you, know that Planet Ultra is a two-person business, and this is what we do for our livelihood. To make our events happen, in addition to our time spent planning, entry fees are spent well in advance on permits, insurance, promotion, event supplies, giveaway items, event shirts, and much, much more. We’re simply not able to provide refunds. Most events, even those with huge corporate sponsors or run by big business are not offering refunds.

Please understand that even a deferment pushes our immense financial losses to another date, another event, another year. To be painfully honest, we’re hoping that under the circumstances, each participant would see that their individual entry fee is small loss compared to the devastation we're suffering, along with many small businesses across the county and around the globe that are being shut down for reasons beyond their control. Our plan is that every person who paid the full entry fee will be automatically registered for the October 17th event. If you’d like to instead contribute your entry fee to keep Planet Ultra afloat through this crisis, we will humbly accept your generosity with sincere gratitude.

I responded to this email above by stating that they could retain my entry fee.

* I have been screwed up the ass by Obama (US$250000 in extra health care costs over 10 years, yes that's 1/4 million dollars), then Trump (SALT taxes no longer deductible). Millions of people like myself were hurt badly similarly.

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