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“It’s going to be OK!” Sweet message of hope from one small business to all the others

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This message from the owner/operator of “Sweet Capone’s” has started to circulate in Central Alberta.  

It captures the essence of the struggle facing all small businesses today.  

It’s worth sharing with all those you know who are fighting to keep their business alive when they may not be able to flip the sign from “closed” to “open”.

I have often wondered what it was like for my grandparents and great grandparents. To have lived through, and endured the struggles that a world war presented. It couldn’t have been easy – to navigate the waves of fear and to not succumb to the panic that creeps in when uncertainty hits. They had to ration food and other goods. Here in Canada and living in the middle class of society no less, I am beyond fortunate. Emergency rationing of food and other items is not something I have ever had to do.

I also have not had to experience the painful dread of knowing that one, or all of my sons would be drafted and shipped off to fight in a war – when they are barely old enough to shave…. and never knowing if it would be the last time I would get to hold them close.

I also have not known a society where most of the male figures are away fighting or deceased, and women are left to keep things going on the homefront – both in and out of the home.

I have not known the terror of a dictatorship, and with it, have had all of my rights and freedoms completely stripped away. I have not known annihilating persecution, segregation and the many unspeakable horrors that many cultures have experienced in the face of war. Even to this day.

I have not lived through obliteration where my home and everything I valued has been demolished and torn apart.

I have not known these things. But what I do know is this: previous generations survived all of these things and went on to create a society in which they thrived. Expanded. Flourished. They must have, or else you and I would not be here otherwise. Our previous generations have shown us that weathering adversity produces good fruit. Opportunities open up where they once did not exist. Weaknesses are identified and stronger solutions are put in place. New inventions and ideas sprout fourth and become endearing to our way of life. We identify what we can live with – and conversely, what we can live without. We develop a deeper sense of appreciation through loss, and draw closer to one another in times of strife.

A dear friend of mine said today, “history is like a pond. Ripples only exist on the surface and get harder to detect with distance.” I think he is so right. We forget what previous generations went through and did for us when we allow fear to send us running in the opposite direction.

That pond? Those ripples? They didn’t just start on their own. Our grandparents and the generations before them, they jumped into the water. They dove into it, perhaps even head first! And when they did that, they sent out ripples of resilience, determination and strength that would one day reach us. If we stop running in fear and instead turn around and dip a toe in those calming waters, something amazing will happen. We will be refreshed, renewed and repurposed. And even greater still, we will create ripples of our own that will serve as messages of hope for all the generations to come after us.

As for us here at Sweet Capone’s, we will stay open and are happy to serve you in any capacity until we are unable. We love you, believe in you, and can’t wait to see the ripples that we will produce together when all is said and done!

Stay safe and see you soon!

Love Carina and Joel Moran (owners)

I understand panic – Dr. Abdu Sharkawy

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Automotive

Government subsidies cost more than EV capital investments

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From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Author: Franco Terrazzano

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling for an end to corporate welfare following today’s Parliamentary Budget Officer report showing government subsidies are 14 per cent more than the capital investments corporations are making in the electric-vehicle supply chain.

“Putting taxpayers on the hook for more money than these corporations are spending to build their own factories is an awful deal for ordinary Canadians,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “Taxpayers are being taken to the cleaners with this EV corporate welfare.”

The PBO released a report regarding recent government subsidies for EV factories.

“For the $46.1 billion in investments (capital expenses) across the EV supply chain, PBO estimates total corresponding government support (for capital and operating expenses) to be up to $52.5 billion, which is $6.3 billion (14 per cent) higher than announced investments,” according to the PBO report.

Of the $52.5 billion in taxpayer subsidies, the PBO estimates $31.4 billion is coming from the federal government and $21.1 billion is coming from provincial governments.

“These lopsided numbers show that these corporate handouts are nothing more than a vanity project for politicians,” said Jay Goldberg, CTF Ontario Director. “If these politicians want to grow the economy, they should cut taxes and red tape rather than make bad bets with taxpayers’ money.”

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Automotive

US EV Industry Shifts Back Into Reality Gear

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By DAVID BLACKMON

 

At the start of each year, I write a piece in which I make a set of predictions about what will happen in the energy space during the coming 12 months. One prediction I made in this year’s story focused on the likelihood of a big fallout in America’s EV manufacturing industry.

Citing Fisker and Rivian as examples, I questioned whether any of the pure-play electric vehicle companies based in the United States had the ability to compete with Tesla in that market.

I took some heat from viewers that same week after I predicted on a podcast that every one of the U.S. pure-play EV makers besides Tesla would be either in bankruptcy or teetering on the brink by the end of 2024. As things are turning out, my only regret there is that I did not predict they would all be in that state by the middle of 2024 instead of the end of the year.

This week, Fisker filed for bankruptcy, becoming the latest in a series of casualties in the growing falling-out in the EV sector. As The New York Times noted in its story on the matter, Fisker was one of a number of pure-play EV makers who were able to raise billions in startup funds from investors who got caught up in the EV frenzy during 2020 and 2021.

Several of those firms, like ProterraArrival, and Lordstown Motors already preceded Fisker down the bankruptcy path. Others, like Rivian, are right on the verge of taking the same plunge.

Lucid makes just one model, a luxury sedan, and is struggling to find buyers. It boasted about setting a new delivery “record” in the first quarter of this year, but a closer search reveals that was for only 1,967 units. The carmaker followed that announcement with another in May that it would lay off 400 employees in an apparent effort to conserve cash.

Oof.

EV truck maker Nikola, meanwhile, saw its stock price hit a record low this week amid ongoing softening in the US EV market. At the close of June 20 trading, Nikola’s price had dropped to just 33 cents per share. The stock collapse comes months after the company had delivered its first hydrogen fuel cell heavy truck during Q1, but that amounted to sales of just 42 units.

These and other pure-play EV makers are not in any way serious competition for Tesla.

Note also that Tesla is having major struggles of its own as the pace of EV adoption growth slows to a snail’s pace. The company laid off 10% of its workforce in May amid the ongoing slowing of the EV market. Tesla’s rollout of its radically designed Cybertruck has been plagued by recalls, technical issues and customer complaints, and the company’s overall Q1 2024 sales numbers fell dramatically from both Q4’s numbers and year-over-year.

But its decade-long head start on the competition, vertical integration of supply chains and diversification into other ventures give Tesla advantages these other pure-play EV companies do not and cannot enjoy. It remains uniquely situated among its peer group to survive the market contraction.

Traditional automakers like Ford and GM have been able to placate investors about their stunning losses in EV ventures (Ford somehow managed to lose $132,000 per unit sold in Q1 2024) by offsetting them against major profits from their traditional gas and diesel-powered car divisions. But even those companies have invoked an array of strategic shifts over the past six months in which they have delayed or cancelled planned new investments in their EV dreams.

What we are seeing here is a rapid shifting back to reality in the US auto industry. EVs always have been, are today, and will remain a niche product that can fill specific needs for a limited segment of our population, mainly the wealthy. The reason why the traditional, gas-and-diesel-powered auto segments at companies like Ford and GM remain wildly profitable is because that is where the real auto market remains.

No amount of Soviet-style central planning, industrial policy and command-and-control edicts and regulations coming down from Washington, D.C., are going to change that reality.

David Blackmon is an energy writer and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Featured image screenshot: (Screen Capture/PBS NewsHour)

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