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LADIES AND GENTLEMEN IN PAWN LAND,
QUESTIONS ON COMMUNITY CLOSURES, OPINIONS ON PAWN AS A FINANCIAL SERVICES BUSINESS, RIGHTS OF SERVICE
PCG has been fielding a tremendous amount of incoming traffic VIA the phone, email, web site contacts, social media, and online communities in the past few weeks.
The country and the world is and has been reacting to the current COVID19 crisis unlike any other previous Pandemic in the history of the world.
By now many of you have seen some of the information updates coming from the likes of the “National Pawnbrokers Association”, and from other sources over the past several weeks on a broad range of subjects.
PCG has recently provided several blogs for the coming Tsunami of loan demand and basic preparedness. This includes preparations for our industry to get their financial houses in order for the coming wave of cash demands for our industry.
Over 3 million persons in the USA applied for unemployment in March, and it’s not over yet. April will yield much of the same is the prediction.
Unfortunately, many in the work force literally live shift to shift, or paycheck to paycheck. As millions prepare for little to no income, we as an industry can expect to feel the repercussions of the looming environment in which we are in.
PAWN SHOPS ARE FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
Here is a link put up by the National Pawnbrokers Association from the Department of Treasury and the official Memorandum for the Financial Services Sector:
ON THE SUBJECT OF STORE CLOSURES
PCG has been inundated with incoming communication traffic about store closures by various city, county, state, and even federal governments in some countries attempting to and actually closing stores.
It is our belief as it is many, we all want to remain safe and responsible during this crisis.
With the onslaught of incoming cash demands we are predicting; we also believe it is absolutely critical that we keep as many of our doors open as possible through out this event. This is of course while attempting to keep our staff, customers, and community safe and as remain as responsible as we can while simultaneously helping those in need during this crisis.
In the case of store closures, we recently saw where the Mayor of Miami filed a decree shutting down all non-essential businesses and listed Pawn Shops as non-essential. Resulting in shutting down some 150 stores in Dade County instantly. Dade is the 6th largest county in the USA and is also suffering with massive closures and stay at home orders across the county.
PCG was inundated with many calls of support and input as a result. Through the help of numerous folks including “Smart Financial” and their lobbyist along with their political contacts, within 48 hours, the Mayor signed another decree agreeing Pawn Shops are in deed essential businesses and can remain open as such.
Same thing happened in Broward County Florida the following week, and the Florida Pawnbrokers Association headed up by Josh Davis along with their Lobbyist Dave Siergerson also got this decree reversed through their active involvement and support in their community.
We are seeing similar activities going on all over the USA and in other countries.
HISTORY INDICATES LACK OF INVOLVEMENT IN LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AND GOVERNMENT IS AT AN ALL TIME LOW
WITHIN THE PAWN INDUSTRY.
This is perhaps a great illustration of how little involved many of us in this industry are with our local or national government.
Our National Pawnbrokers Association in the USA has remained involved in our industry’s rights for decades through their lobbyist and industry’ participants in Washington DC.
The Industry on local levels’ has been less involved and less successful as an observation.
AS business owners you should be involved with your Law Enforcement, Police Associations on a Financial level and know your local government legislators. Attend city council meetings, rallies, fund raisers, community business mixers hosted by Chambers of Commerce, know your mayors, county boards and more.
You have a duty to remain involved with your community leaders to keep them informed and rely on their resources in times of need and they in turn on you when necessary. It can be a two-way street.
The old saying is remain pro-active VS reactive, yes?
Recently I was Speaking to a long time fellow of PCG’s, friend and client, Stan Lukowicz Jr., in Sacramento of “Loyalty Pawn”. He was elaborating on how thankful he was for how the years of involvement within his community has paid off big time for him and our industry. Rallying support from the community leaders in his time of need has paid off in spades as we like to say. His father Stan Sr. is also a big believer in community involvement and more so with the right members, or targeted members of the communities that we have a duty to get to know.
Stan Jr. is working to see now that their state-wide ban of pawn shops being able to sell anything aside from loans in their community is unconstitutional. He and his law team, and most of those in his community agree with him and they are making great headway to get these unfair rules of conduct overturned by any means necessary.
Why should Best Buy be able to sell new laptops, but Pawn Shops can’t sell used ones for less money? How can we allow any branch of government attempt to over-stretch their powers and discriminate one industry or retailer over another?
This is a prime example why community involvement is so important. AS a long-time participant in the industry myself as an employee, an owner, executive management, and a consultant, I still find many of those in our industry do LITTLE to participate or even contribute in their communities.
As a result they often times find themselves on the rear end of critical decision making VS being on the front end of it as an active participant in community affairs.
This current cycle of events should prove to all of us – now is the time to get in, make your presence known!
Contribute your time, donations of products and services, and yes, money back to your communities, it will come back to you in spades if you do it correctly and with good intent.
Keep you eyes open folks, the onslaught and perhaps the worst is yet to come.
Bless you all, stay tuned, much more to follow.