Monday, September 21, 2020

Glens Falls Tae Kwon Do: Lockdown is killing our business

Dear Cathy,

Just wanted to update you on how our circumstances here at GFTKD have devolved since you first requested information for an article 6 weeks ago.

By now you’ve heard the “same storm, different boat” reference regarding the lockdown, and sadly our boat is sinking fast. We’ve lost tens of thousands in revenue.

It took us 31 years to reach a point where there was actually a profit to be made, yet it took only a few months to destroy it all. Rent does not stop. National Grid, Spectrum, Casella Waste, accountant fees, school insurance, unemployment insurance, disability insurance, liability insurance and major health insurance bills are not excused or waived.

If we are ever allowed to open again, based on the chance of spikes in corona cases, we’ll be so far in debt that we don’t know if it is practical or possible. At Craig’s age (pushing 72) there is not a lot of time left to recoup our losses, much less turn a small profit.

Our school prides itself on our ability to help our community. We sponsor dozens of sports teams, After Prom safety programs, charity events, the Marathon Dance, individuals in need, scholarships, fundraisers of every type and Prospect Center in particular.

This is our way of thanking and giving back to our community for its support over the years. It is our example for our students to follow as they mature and remain or return as adults to enhance our community.

The little PPP loan we applied for took forever to arrive and has long since been used for rent and back wages, and we never even received a stimulus check which we would have lent to GFTKD to keep it alive.

Our initial can-do attitude has waned drastically and, most likely, we will need to make a decision soon as to the viability of our business. It might just be time to close our doors and cut our losses before we’re in so deep that we’ll never get out.

Despite our efforts from the get-go to provide thorough online instruction for our students, we have all learned there is no substitute for personal interaction to convey knowledge, promote retention, provide encouragement and maintain interest. Parents and adult students have reported depression, confusion and hopelessness.

The powers that be, even though they are in agreement about nothing regarding the virus, have destroyed our dream and caused us to question their leadership and wisdom. While we’ve been deemed non-essential by those who haven’t missed a paycheck, liquor stores continue to turn a profit and pickle customers’ livers.

Tae Kwon Do is all about physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. We could open up in a minute, safely, intelligently, carefully, but we’re not credited with being smart enough to do so.

Thank you once again for your concern.

— Craig, Tamsin and Aidan MacDonald, GFTKD (Glens Falls Tae Kwon Do)

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