Everett Thompson of Indio is a licensed general engineering contractor who these days doesn’t know which way to turn.
Specializing in underground utility projects, he went into business in 2004 and by 2006 his company was grossing nearly 2 million dollars. But since then due to the construction crisis his company has been in a tail-spin.
“It’s just scary, I don’t know how I am gonna feed my own kids and keep a roof over my head,” said Thompson. “We went from 20 employees to nine to me. Income revenues of 60 thousand dollars a month coming into zero.”
Up until about a year and half ago, Thompson wasn’t in such dire straights.
Back then he had about a half a million dollars in construction equipment that he owned going in and out of his yard in Bermuda Dunes. But when the construction projects dryed up and Thompson wasn’t paid for some sub-contract work he did, the equipment had to go.
“I sold everything I had, any assets I have I’ve sold. Water trucks certain equipment I’ve sold and its been real hard, its been real hard,” said Thompson.
That’s where Jeff Solem of Johnson Machinery in Riverside comes in. He’s trying to sooth Thompson’s pain. Although Thompson still owes Johnson Machinery about $45,000 for a Caterpillar tractor, Solem isn’t so worried about collecting the money at this point as he is keeping Thompson in business.
“If he’s not making money if he’s not in business that only hurts us,” Solem said. “So we’ve gotta find a way to get him in business and get him in business the right way.”
Solem also cited Thompson’s integrity and character and great business credit record for reasons why his company isn’t pressuring Thompson for payment.
“They could have probably filed law suits taken me to court because I have an outstanding balance with them which they choose not to do,” said Thompson. “They have bent over backwards to work with us to try to keep us working.”
That is the ultimate goal and something Solem believes is inevitable.
“All we have to do is take a deep breath and try to keep Everett focused on the future because he’s gonna be back,” said Solem. “There are some things I know. The economy is gonna turn, Johnson is gonna be here for customers and Everett Thompson is gonna be digging holes in the desert.”