Romer: Helping businesses survive in a pandemic
As I sit here thinking about the week ahead and the changes we saw so drastically impact our world the past few weeks, I realize that there is little I can say to ease the uncertainty and challenges you are facing in your business or organization. I hope it brings some comfort knowing that Vail Valley Partnership is working every day to determine how we help businesses get through this stage of the pandemic and prepare for the recovery stage.
Here are a few thoughts as you look at the days and weeks ahead:
The situation continues to evolve moment-by-moment. We remain at a critical juncture with coronavirus and the physical separation. It’s necessary now for each of us to take responsibility for the physical separation, and that’s why the stay-at-home orders and social distancing are so important.
While we are planning for recovery, we cannot really tackle the economic issues until we have a better handle on the public health issue. The sooner we really buckle down and practice social distancing, the sooner we can begin getting the economy rolling again. The longer we delay, the longer and deeper the economic decline.
March gets us through April and May so we can get to June; we don’t know when business will resume or what our tourism economy will look like in the next 3-6 months, but we will do everything in our power to see us through these challenging times. National programs such as the Payroll Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan program are good starts.
There are things we can be doing right now to prepare for the resumption of commerce. Perhaps the most important is keeping employees connected to their employer. That is why Vail Valley Partnership has been so focused on advocating for and sharing the various assistance programs that provide aid to businesses to help them keep paying their employees as we bridge this halt in revenue.
While unemployment insurance provides critical support for those who do lose their jobs, our public policy goal should be to keep as many Americans employed as possible during this crisis. That is not only good for workers, it is good for employers. Maintaining your existing workforce through the Payroll Protection Program makes it easier to reopen when public officials give the all-clear. Having to go out and rehire workers only creates more friction and delays getting back to work.
Take care of yourself. These are incredibly stressful times and for you to help others, you need to practice self care. Take a break from all the news, take a quick walk to get some fresh air, call someone to connect with and check on during this time. Follow social distancing guidelines.
Throughout all of this, I am inspired by all of you. It has never been harder to be a business owner, a CEO, an employee, a community leader, a service provider, an elected official. Your determination, your resilience, your spirit and your innovation will make us stronger.
We will continue working every day to help you weather this storm and emerge even stronger — just as we have at other challenging times. This is not going to put you out of business. We won’t let it.
We are with you. And we will get through this together. Vail Valley Partnership is committed to helping you respond to the coronavirus so you can support your employees, customers, members, and communities. Be safe and stay healthy. Visit COVID19BusinessResources.com for a complete list of tools and resources.
Chris Romer is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership, the regional chamber of commerce. Learn more at www.vailvalleypartnership.com.