It’s not the fall during the COVID-19 pandemic that matters, it’s the rise


Let’s start by mourning our lost colleagues, managers, employees, customers and suppliers.

More than 50,000 Texans have succumbed to COVID-19. Most of us know someone who has died and many are in mourning. We have lost leaders, entrepreneurs, experts, artisans and workers who made successful businesses. Replacing them will not be easy.

So let’s mourn the lost businesses: the convenience stores, restaurants, bars and services that have added convenience, joy and efficiency to our lives.

Starting a business takes courage at the best of times, but fantastic courage and persistence is the only way to keep a business afloat during lockdowns, supply chain disruptions, labor shortages. , security spending and the recession.

More than 5,300 Texas businesses have closed permanently and 8,900 temporarily closed, between March and September 2020, according to data collected by the business search app Yelp’s Economic impact report. In December, the Texas Restaurant Association reported that 30% of operators did not expect to be open in six months yet.

When it comes to people’s lives and livelihoods, the pain and suffering is real. And even if vaccination rates rise and infection rates fall, the pandemic is not over. Many more people will contract the virus, and some will suffer from horrible illnesses or die from it. Some businesses that struggle to reopen will never get over it.

It’s not the fall that matters, however; it is the rising.

After assessing the losses, those who can afford to rebuild must continue. Trading, manufacturing and selling goods, marketing and providing services is what will return our world to economic and physical health.

Even in the pandemic’s first year, Americans added 487,000 new businesses in Yelp’s search app. While that number has declined by 14% year over year, it still shows remarkable resilience. Most of the decline was in new restaurants, while professional services, landscaping, auto detailing and contractors increased. When times are tough, contractors hang up their shingles.

More than 260,000 businesses closed due to COVID have reopened, including 85,000 restaurants. The biggest challenge they face now is finding workers. Consumers come out of their squats.

Research on Yelp shows people so far want to play it safe and stay out. Movies while driving or outdoors remain highly desirable, as do skate parks and horseback riding. The duration of these trends will depend on how the virus mutates and how quickly we achieve herd immunity.

Barring a deadly new form of COVID-19, six months from now, I suspect we’ll get used to the disease as people learn to trust their vaccinations. People who contract the infection in the latter half of the year will only have to blame themselves. Anti-vaxxers shouldn’t expect compassion if they get sick.

Businessmen should also anticipate scientific breakthroughs that will make life with the coronavirus easier. As treatments improve, fear of the virus will decrease. The tests will help detect the disease more quickly. Texas Tech researchers are marketing a coronavirus saliva test that provides results in seconds.

We may never find a cure for COVID-19, but we won’t always fear it.

People’s desires will grow for fine dining, a cozy bar or live music and theater. Many of us may want to continue working from home, but it also means that we will want to go out after work more than ever.

Yelp’s first quarter data also shows significant recoveries in hair salons, beauty salons, and retail stores. We are a social species and we are ready to mingle again. And we want to look good doing it.

Hopefully the pandemic has proven the interdependence and interdependence of humanity. The novel coronavirus has confirmed that a problem first detected 10,000 kilometers away can shut down the world’s most powerful economy within months.

I am not naive enough to believe that we are heading for a kumbaya moment. We have seen far too much selfishness and egotistical behavior to make me think that humanity is capable of unity. But we seem ready to do things that will improve our lives, like building roads, building power lines, designing better technologies, and developing better health services.

The United States has been waiting for an upgrade for a long time, and doing what is necessary to stay strong in the 21st century will create huge business opportunities. All the great powers eventually decline, but this must not happen to our country under our watch.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken terrible toll on humanity and the global economy. The virus has probably changed some of our behaviors forever. There are losses from which we will never recover.

Destruction, however, offers the opportunity to create something new and better. Staying ashore after the coronavirus hit is not an option; it is time to rise up and rebuild.

Tomlinson writes commentary on business, economics and politics.

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