At CCAW, we always knew when income tax season began. Some of the parts we sold were necessary for a vehicle to operate safely, so they were must-haves. Our average order value was around $350—a considerable purchase. Lots of customers waited to buy until they had an influx of cash. Tax refunds fit that bill perfectly. The day refunds hit, we’d see a spike in sales. This usually happened in February or March and marked the beginning of our busy season.
Today I was reflecting on how much tax refunds affected our business and the small and medium-sized businesses of other founders I know. We’re currently in the midst of tax season. The deadline has been pushed back to May 17, but historically, most people anticipating a refund file well before the deadline.
And many people are about to receive cash from another source. Earlier this month, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021was passed. This legislation provides direct stimulus payments (the proper name is economic impact payments) to individuals if they meet certain criteria. The stimulus payments are intended to lessen the economic blow of the pandemic. I hope it achieves that goal. If it does, it should result in consumer spending.
Last year individuals received stimulus checks in April, but we were early in the pandemic and there was lots of uncertainty. We’re still in the pandemic, but we have a better understanding of COVID-19 and more businesses are open. I’m curious to see how the combination of tax refunds and stimulus payments affect small and medium-sized business. Not to mention the broader economy. I’ll be watching this closely and talking to founder friends on the front lines. Should be interesting to watch this play out.