THE EDGE, THE ABYSS, THE BLOOM
Current Situation (December 2020) in the USA:
US deaths: nearly 300,000
Daily deaths: about 3,000
US unemployment: Highest level since September as reported here.
Food insecurity: Up to 40% of Americans have reported food insecurity for the first time.
Housing insecurity: Eviction Tsunami looming.
COVID vaccines: emerging with approvals and distribution plans.
Federal assistance: $1200 one time payment to individuals. Current congressional talks are failing.
Political climate: Not helping any of this.
We didn't see it coming. We were in full stride conceiving our businesses, growing our businesses, running our businesses, or planning future businesses. Then things started getting rough. In March 2020 we stopped in our tracks in every facet of our lives. We took a step or two back and watched a pandemic spread. We were told to close up shop, stay away from people, wear masks, wash our hands, disinfect, and by God don't breathe near anyone else's airspace. Personally, as a small business owner, with rent to pay, I knew I would face the edge quickly. The edge of being able to do business as was done pre-pandemic. The edge of closing office doors altogether. The edge of getting by. The edge of creating future prosperity. The edge of poverty. The edge of hope. The edge of being okay. The edge before sinking into the abyss. For business owners who have not fallen into the abyss, the edge is visible and the steepness of loss on the other side, unknown. As promised, by those who know about these things, the dark winter is here. The pandemic is not controlled. We have not had cohesive national leadership and strategies to to control the spread of this virus. We are losing 2000-3000 people everyday. 2000-3000 people everyday!!! Yes, people are staying home and consumerism is completely altered. While Amazon can't count all of the millions of dollars it makes each day, small businesses are taking on debt and closing. The federal government is not stepping up with relief or guidance for getting through these times. Local municipal governments are deciding whether 3 or 300 people will be allowed into a shop, restaurant, or healthcare facility. It all depends on the political leanings of the state or county. Meanwhile, people are waiting for miles in food lines. People are arguing about wearing masks. Entrepreneurs are shutting doors to their small businesses.
Shop owners with storefronts are absolutely walking the tightrope between the edge and the abyss this winter. They are pivoting, scrounging, furloughing, and hustling so that they can make it until the spring. They are clinging to hope for brighter days. Unfortunately, though, they might very well land in the abyss. A closed store. A closed restaurant. A closed gym. A closed hair salon. A closed travel agency. A closed brewery. A closed coffee shop. A closed concert venue. The businesses we truly need for our health, happiness, and livelihoods could be gone when we emerge from the darkness. The businesses that supply work for for a majority of the nation could be gone when we emerge. Truth. What an effing mess. Support them if you can. Throw them whatever lifelines you can. They are spending on things they never dreamed: air purifying systems, outdoor igloos, high-tech sanitizing systems, & outdoor heaters all while significantly reducing their capacity.
Yes, the abyss is bleak. Let's rename it. Before the Bloom sounds much better. That's what this period is. Before the Bloom. The harsh reality is that there will be many more losses this winter. We can't stop that from happening. We are a nation fighting for our health, for our finances, for our sanity, for our freedom. Well, shit, the whole country is fearful, angry, and fighting about something. We are in need of a much brighter spring and summer. We can't wait for the Bloomers to emerge. Small business will come back. Hopefully, the edge and abyss fighters survive and again have flourishing operations on Main Street. There will also be opportunity. There will be new creativity. Small business ideas will be planted. They will sprout. They will bloom. Small business will get back to creating over 65% of our nation's jobs and careers. They will provide spaces for entertainment, places for gatherings, places for getaways, spaces for health and fitness, places for intimate dates and conversation, places for healing, and spaces for laughter. Doesn't that sound amazing? Eventually, we will have brightly colored gardens of small business, and we will not take it for granted. After this year, we will not take anything for granted. Bring on the BLOOM!
We take small business seriously. We are small business owners. If you'd like to join one of our virtual small business networking events, we'd love to meet you! We'd love to help you sprout, grow, and bloom! Julie and Nick, PinPoint Networking
About the author: Julie Schumann is a physical therapist by trade. She closed the doors to her brick and mortar business during the pandemic. She remains a staunch supporter of small business and understands what entrepreneurs go through to start their dream, maintain, and succeed. She has since been putting her efforts toward bringing small business owners together through networking and promoting. Small business grows better through connections. This is the mission of PinPoint Networking.