Act of God
2,321 emails in one day asking about force majeure.
I looked up exactly what this means.
Force Majeure: superior or irresistible force; an event or effect that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled - compare ACT OF GOD (www.merriam-webster.com).
Act of God: an extraordinary interruption by a natural cause (such as a flood or earthquake) of the usual course of events that experience, prescience, or care cannot reasonably foresee or prevent (www.merriam-webster.com).
A truckload of companies are falling into a ditch. Many companies were already in shallow waters with little or no cash reserve. With a flood of cancelled orders and delayed payments, many fellow companies are desperate to stay afloat. Not to mention the dire consequences affecting their employees. Susan, who lost her job as a pattern designer last week says, "it's not a professional position, but I never had a problem finding work. Being a pattern designer in the fashion industry for 25 years, I never expected to be out of a job so suddenly."
Susan is certainly not alone in her predicament. It's not only the employees but the owners of the companies who lost their livelihood in a matter of a few weeks. LA Fashion District is home to more than 4000 wholesalers and retailers. From streetwear to luxury brands, from lofty hats to sky high stilettos, whether you're in the mood for diamonds or pearls, you will find just the thing you're looking for. But the goods are not manufactured and distributed in America alone. A vast majority of companies manufacture their goods from countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, China, and Mexico. When the pandemic broke out and the heavy lockdown began in China late last year, it was the companies in LA Fashion District who received the first scourges. From there, the trickle down (or up) effect was visible. "We couldn't afford to pay our attorneys for the pending lawsuit involving millions of dollars. We need to win this lawsuit to keep our brand," said one company owner. She asked her attorneys to continue to represent the company in the lawsuit. But the attorneys could not promise, for they themselves could not afford to represent her company without getting paid.
"Is this an act of God?" one CEO of a textile manufacturing company asks. "Can the vendors not pay and say it's the 'act of God'?"
Ms. G--, a CEO of a women's apparel company with manufacturing plants in China and Korea says, "We're all praying. I started all night prayer meetings where our church leaders and some of our company employees gather at my house to pray. Of course, we keep the group small, less than 10. But no, we don't wear masks in the house." When asked what they pray about, she said, "There's a verse we're all praying on. It's 2 Chronicles 7:14: If My people, who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forigive their sin, and heal their land."
I asked her, "Is this an act of God?" Ms. G-- replied, "God is sovereign."