Women Hit Hardest By Economic Damage Resulting From Pandemic

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Stacy Francis is the President and CEO of Francis Financial & founder of Savvy Ladies™, empowering women to achieve financial independence.

Due to recent record-shattering closings, U.S. stocks are officially back in a bull market, marking the fastest stock market recovery in history. For many women, the good news begins and ends there. As recent market trends have proven, the stock market is not necessarily indicative of the strength of the economy. Millions of Americans have been affected by record high unemployment due to Covid-19, and many individuals have a long way to go to make up for financial losses.

The road to financial recovery will be especially long for women, who have taken the brunt of the economic impact. Before the pandemic, there already existed a vast wealth gap between women and men, with women having less in total financial resources, such as earnings, investments and retirement savings. The situation is even more dire for Black women, Latinas and other demographic minorities. Before the pandemic, Black women were paid 62 cents on average for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. For Latina women, it was 54 cents. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, the median yearly pay for Latinas working full time, year-round is $33,540, compared to $61,576 for white, non-Hispanic men.

Women have now been disproportionately affected by pandemic-related job losses. The World Trade Organization stated that the pandemic is having a larger economic impact on women due to their prominence in sectors hardest hit by the crisis, such as travel and manufacturing. An August report (download required) by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics, noted that job losses for women since February made up 53.6% of overall net job losses, yet women account for under half (49.7%) of the workforce.

And while overall U.S. job recovery has been impressive, job recovery for women has not. The NWLC report stated that only 40% of the 12.1 million jobs lost for women between February and April have returned. Further, it found that “while the overall unemployment rate dropped to 10.2% in July, almost 1 in 7 Black women (13.5%) and Latinas (14.0%) remained unemployed,” making their unemployment rate roughly three times higher than it was in February.

For women with families who were able to keep their jobs during this difficult time, new data shows that dads are more than three times as likely as moms to get a promotion while working remotely during the pandemic.

Add to this the vastly disproportionate levels of unpaid labor that women do in the form of child care, cooking, cleaning and caring for aging parents. Women, and especially women of color, were already suffering from lower net worth and a higher poverty rate before the pandemic. Now they have been disproportionately affected by job loss and more exhaustive unpaid labor. “Wage and educational gaps, as well as limited access to finance, a greater proportion of women in informal employment and social constraints all tend


How to Survive in the Gift Basket Industry During Trying Economic Times

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With 15 years in the gift basket industry, I have seen companies come and go, but in the past several months, during these difficult economic times, I have seen an undeniable increase in companies which are either for sale, or closing. Consumers still require baskets for a variety of reasons. How do you continue to survive and get consumers to spend their much coveted dollars with you during this downturn?

The gift industry is in a category all by itself. Many do not realize the amount of inventory necessary to offer the variety of gift baskets desired by consumers, as well as the many extra items like wrap, ribbon, packaging, boxes, etc. that all go into the design and shipping of a gift basket. It is easy to go overboard on purchasing these items. We must resist purchasing too much in order to keep our expenses in check. Things to keep in mind when purchasing inventory:

-Remember, when purchasing food product you will want to monitor your inventory carefully. Do not carry more than you can realistically sell over a short period of time. You want to be able to offer the freshest product possible to your customer. Old and out dated stock can be the end of your business, and having to discard over buys on a regular basis can put you in the red very quickly.

-Keep track of where your suppliers are. Are they located within a one day ship time? If so, you do not need to stockpile these items. If you know that you are able to re-supply low inventory within a day, there is no need to carry a large overhead. Although, it might seem responsible to order in larger quantities to save on shipping, it is more important to have a sustainable level of inventory, than save a few dollars on shipping costs.

-Are the items you stock available from several suppliers? Ask them to price match.

-Keep a detailed and categorized inventory list so that when it is time to re-order, you can order all the necessary stock from a specific supplier without forgetting anything, thus avoiding additional unnecessary shipping fees.

As responsible gift basket professionals, it is important that we watch our bottom line so that we are able to provide beautiful gift baskets at a fair price. If a customer knows that they can depend on us to provide fresh gift baskets on a consistent basis, you will be able to retain these customers regardless of the economic conditions. They will come to trust our dependability and be happy to pass the responsibility of getting an eye catching gift basket delivered to their family, friends and associates in a timely and affordable manner.

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