President Obama whisked through Seattle Tuesday to meet with business owners and political donors. At the Grand Central building, where I happen to have my law offices, the president spoke about tough economic times for small businesses.
Grand Central Bakery was closed to the public this morning and during the president'ês visit. Retail stores could not open until 1 pm. Office workers could not enter until 10:30 am, though it took until at least 11 to clear security. At my small law firm, we each lost four hours of billable time. (We'êre not complaining, but we will have to work later as needed to make it back.)
A therapist friend had to cancel four client appointments. Countless other small businesses lost time. We first received notice of this disruption yesterday afternoon, making it almost impossible to make alternate plans. To be fair, the president'ês security staff was courteous and efficient. Still, there was a certain irony: While Obama stood in the Grand Central Arcade and discussed the woes of small business owners in this challenging economic climate, small businesses in the building were forced to lose working time.
And, as all of those attending the $10,000 per person fundraiser at Rob Glaser'ês home know, time is money — a scarce resource in tough economic times.