Nonprofits need more support than ever |

Nonprofits need more support than ever

October and November are always nail biters for Summit County business owners and their employees. Even without a national economic crisis, they worry about whether they can scrimp enough to meet expenses during the off-season and whether Old Man Winter will dish up a decent ski season.

This year they are watching the weather and the economy with equal concern.

Because of the seasonal nature of Park City’s financial mainstay recreation — local merchants find themselves in an especially precarious position. Summer and winter merchandise must be ordered a full season ahead, necessitating a sophisticated guessing game, not only about which colors and styles will be popular but how busy the town will be based on long-range weather forecasts and the equally hard-to-predict economy. So, for the next few weeks, ski shop managers will keep their fingers crossed as they unpack valuable inventory and begin hiring staff for what everyone hopes will be a busy winter.

In the meantime, Park City-area nonprofits are also trying to keep their hopes up as they host a slew of annual fundraisers. Most admit that they have had to temper their expectations and trim their budgets even though the need for their services has not diminished.

The hardest hit, as always, are the hourly wage earners who do not have the luxury of saving for a rainy day. Many plan to hold onto their construction jobs until the first snow and then transition right into winter jobs in the service industry. But with the sudden freeze in the housing market, contractors have been forced to lay off workers ahead of schedule.

The upshot is that this month and next will be tough all around. While some hold out hope that Election Day will kick the country out of the economic doldrums, financial experts suggest that there will be no quick fixes.

Park City has benefited more than many cities from the country’s supercharged economy and during that time citizens have shown a remarkable generosity toward groups that support the arts, education and social services. It is one of the traits that distinguishes our community. Even though the markets have cooled, residents need to continue supporting those causes.

When future generations look back at the economic ups and downs of 2008, they will likely judge their predecessors more on how they handled the tough times than how prosperous they became during the boom times.

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