In our June blog, we talk about our upcoming Mind Your Own Business! Financial Statements Workshop registration, Solutions Across the States, and as always offer DEI Discussions & Community Opportunities.
Welcome & Introduction
Welcome to the Solutions For Small Businesses blog! Our blog comes out on the 1st of each month. We intend to use this blog as a safe space to share the many forward-thinking businesses and organizations that we support.
What’s going on with S4SB?
Mind Your Own Business! Financial Statements Workshop:
This month, we’ll be hosting the first in a series of workshops covering financial statements. Profit and Loss Statements 101 will be held, via Zoom, at 10:00 am on June 9th. The workshop will cover the basics of running and customizing a P&L, and how you can use it to help you make strategic business decisions and plan for the future. While we hope this workshop will be helpful to you on its own, we’re hoping you’ll be inspired to dive deeper and make an appointment to discuss your P&L with us, and go over it in detail.
You can register for the workshop here.
Solutions Across the States
One positive thing about COVID and our new virtual reality is that our team has been able to do work from many different locations. Katherine started the business in Arcata, California. Our team member Kiani moved from Humboldt back to Hawaii in 2020 and has been there since. As of the end of May, another team member, Charlie moved to Colorado. Although we serve clients mostly in Humboldt County, we do have a few who are out of the area. We’re glad that our team members are creating Solutions across the States, and that we can serve our clients wherever they are from wherever we are. It is wonderful that our business allows our team members to work from home, wherever this may be.
If you remember from previous blog posts, we had fish eggs in the office! The educational videos, called Think Tank Time are finally available for viewing here.
DEI Discussions & Community Opportunities
Recently, our team decided to add the Justice For Josiah poster to the home page of our website. If you are unaware, let us give you a little background information. David Josiah Lawson was a young Black student leader at Humboldt State University (HSU) when he was bear sprayed and then stabbed while trying to leave a party on April 15th, 2017. He was known for having a kind and giving heart. For more information on the story, we encourage you to read this news article. Starting April 15th, 2021- May 20th, 2021 there will be a 100,000 reward to anyone who is a witness, has information, or videos that will lead to an arrest and conviction.
From Charlie -
As a yoga instructor, I feel thankful for Northern India, where the beginnings of yoga were developed. This is why I feel that it is especially important that our June blog mentions the COVID-19 tragedy in India. As an American, we are privileged to have incredible access to vaccinations. In India, there is a vaccine shortage that is causing an extreme increase in the number of cases. As a result, bodies are being burned, washed up on shorelines, and millions of people are losing their loved ones. But there are a few things that we can do to help.
Donate if you have the means, share relief efforts, and share ways for others to help.
DESI Physician Moms Foundation - Donations will go towards providing necessary equipment such as oxygen cylinders and oxygen concentrators, flow meters, nasal masks, and cannulas.
Give India - Donations will go towards providing oxygen supplies, helping critical care patients at home, families who have lost loved ones, and more.
UNICEF - UNICEF is delivering critical oxygen concentrators and diagnostic testing systems, hygiene supplies, and PPE kits to protect health care workers.
Steps taken by the Trump administration and Israel solidified the county’s control over the Palestinian territories, leading to hundreds of Palestinian protestors wounded in clashes with Israeli police. The Israeli government continues to enforce severe and discriminatory restrictions on Palestinians’ human rights; restrict the movement of people and goods into and out of the Gaza Strip; and facilitate the transfer of Israeli citizens to settlements in the occupied West Bank, an illegal practice under international humanitarian law. There are many ways to donate, and I encourage you to check it out.
If you remember from our previous blog posts, in April, the Solutions Team participated in a DEI training hosted by Equity Arcata. Last month we heard reflections from Connie and Charlie. Here are more reflections from the other members of the S4SB team about our experience with Equity Arcata.
Reflections from Katherine
I grew up in southern California, not very far away from the Mexican border. In Orange County, there was a lot of cultural influence from Mexico and a lot of racism. My family was pretty anti-racist, and we kids were always taught to judge people by their deeds rather than their physical appearance. I didn’t believe that all Mexicans were (fill in the racist blank), but eventually, I realized that I didn’t have anything else to put in the space left by my anti-racism. In other words, I wasn’t pre-judging Mexicans, but I also wasn’t getting to know them. I didn’t know anything about their culture or history.
In college, I took a class in Mexican muralism, and I was embarrassed at how surprised I was to learn about the culture of Mexico and Mexican artists. It hadn’t occurred to me that there was so much wisdom and thoughtfulness. I thought I didn’t believe the stereotypes, but since I didn’t have any other information to put there, I had been influenced by them. I learned that it wasn’t enough to not buy into stereotypes, because you have to fill that space with something.
Taking the DEI training was a step to filling in more blanks for me. An opportunity to recognize more of the gaps in my knowledge and start to fill them in. We were directed to several videos, books, and other resources that we can share with you, but one that spoke to me was Chimamanda Adichie’s TED talk on “The danger of a single story.” It seems to me that one of the most important things we can do for each other is to get to know each other; to understand that no group of people can be defined by a single story.
The kind of bookkeeper I never want to be
Everything about Hazel was big. She was very tall. She had large hands, with gnarled knuckles. She had a big, steel grey, bouffant hair-do. Her liquid, brown eyes were large, and she wore thick glasses that made them seem even larger. She had a large, expressive mouth. The only thing small about Hazel was her mind. She was mean, petty, and small-minded.
I worked with Hazel at one of my first jobs when I was 18. At the time, I didn’t know anything about bookkeeping and had no idea I was going to become one. I didn’t do any bookkeeping at that job - I was a sales clerk at the front desk. I was good with numbers, so sometimes she would have me come upstairs and work on the computer to do a few things, but mostly I worked downstairs helping customers. One of the guys I worked with was notorious for making mistakes on his sales slips. He was kind of a loser, and none of us liked him very much, but we did kind of feel sorry for him. One day, Hazel came downstairs. He had made another mistake, one that he had made many times in the past, and she was furious. She came down and ripped him a new one, in front of the rest of the sales clerks, the customers, and the store owner. I’ll never forget the look on that poor guy’s face. What Hazel did to him was just plain wrong.
In the years since then, I have often been in a position similar to Hazel’s and I’ve had my share of fellow employees making mistakes that I had to deal with, and when that happened, I remembered her approach and how much I didn’t want to be like that. Yes, it can be frustrating when the sales team makes mistakes, especially the same ones over and over again, and I have had to talk to people about their errors. But I always try to remember what it was like being on the sales floor, and how easy it can be to make mistakes when you’ve got an impatient customer in front of you. I try to remember the humanity of everyone I work with.
Today, I think that is one of the things our clients appreciate most about our service. That we recognize the fact that you’ve got a lot of things on your mind, that bookkeeping may not be your thing, that you’re super busy trying to run a business. We’re here to work with you and make your life easier, not to nit-pick.
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