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Lead the Charge —DeWese

September 2009

THE U.S. economy has had a massive heart attack spanning four quarters. But the printing industry has had far worse heart failure coupled with kidney stones, gall stones, ulcers and a recuperation that will take maybe 36 months.

It's always that way. The economy sneezes and printing has double pneumonia.

While the rest of the economy is just beginning to boogie, printers are left lingering in bed on life support. This stuff happens because most segments of the print communications industry are very fragile, and our services are dependent on the health of many other industries.

This big one of 2008–2009 has been the worst since the Great Depression of '29, and printing will linger longer and recover slower. This time our industry will change and it will never be the same.

But, I'm not here to eulogize the industry.

I'm here to motivate heroines and heroes. I'm here to charge up print salespeople who can accelerate the recovery of their companies.

After discovering the Fed's failure to give our industry any stimulus money, I announced my own Mañana Man Economic Stimulus Plan for Printing Companies in my June column. So far, 75 companies from all over America have written me and received the Stimulus Package. Here is a letter I received from Kory Wilkinson, who is the president of Think, a design, printing and fulfillment company in El Dorado Hills, CA. Think can be found at www.wethinkink.com (this Website is worth finding—it's dynamic and exciting!).

"Hello Harris,

"I am the owner of a small printing company with four salesmen. We need stimulation because we are a small business that needs to grow to stay alive. Small businesses create two-thirds of all new jobs, so why are all the big business banks and auto companies receiving all the money?"

Well, Kory, my answer is that we are (1.) Horrible at PR and (2.) Congress and the White House had a brain cramp and forgot that small businesses create the majority of new jobs.

I decided to call Congress and the White House to (1.) Remind them that small businesses create most of the new jobs; (2.) They forgot to send stimulus money to the printing industry, which has laid off about one third of its one million workers; and (3.) That printers don't fly to Washington in private jets (they can't even afford to fly coach on DiscountAir).

 

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