Lehman Brothers in bankruptcy, Fannie and Freddie in federal conservatorship, and Bear Stearns bailed out. These are all signs that the economy is hurting and many businesses are having difficulty. One more sign of difficult times is a rising unemployment rate (currently reported as 5.8% in Orange County by the Employment Development Department ). However, some businesses are striving. And the pool cleaning business seems to be one of these.
This seems counterintuitive. Having your pool cleaned would seem to be one of the first services that homeowners would give up in financially difficult times. But the experience of one pool service owner that I talked to recently reveals that this business is booming. His observation is that instead of going out for entertainment or taking an out-of-town vacation, homeowners are entertaining and taking vacationing at home. In fact, a new term has been coined to describe this: staycation.
These staycations might involve entertaining at home by the pool (if you have one) instead of going out, as well as taking vacations by the pool instead of going out of town. Therefore, homeowners are willing to pay a bit more to keep their pools in top condition. In any case, this pool service business owner said that his job has been so busy lately that he needed a break, so he took a staycation of his own.
If we are looking for silver linings in this storm cloud we are now under, more business for some local enterprises from local residents might be a candidate.
Note: The thought just occurred to me to ask if anyone else has noticed any other business that are doing particularly well during this business downturn. I am mostly interested in those jobs that, like the pool service business, would seem unlikely candidates. SW 9-20-08