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Don't Forget Small Businesses

As Ron Burgundy stated in Anchorman, “boy, that escalated quickly.  I mean, that really that got out of hand fast!”  While not making light of the situation, humor has a way of helping many cope with difficult situations.  Humor is a mechanism I use constantly.  Drives my wife up the wall, yet it’s simply how I deal with stress.   As my partner Ryan would attest, there are no subjects off limit to my jokes.

 Regardless of how we got here or our thoughts on what transpired, this is reality now.  Coronavirus (Covid19) was declared a national emergency.  As many of you are aware, capital markets have endured several days of insanity.  I wouldn’t even call it volatility – that word is too mundane for what has transpired.

 I want to take this opportunity to ask each of you to remember small business owners during the upcoming weeks/months.  I’ve read comments on social media that were critical of local bars and restaurants in cities across the country that are running promotions to get people to their venues.  That’s insane to do so and shame on the critics.  The ripple effect will be beyond our imagination.  One random example is the subscription I have to a website dedicated to Division 1 College Baseball.  The NCAA has already canceled the 2020 College World Series that was scheduled for June.  Conferences such as the Big 12 have already canceled the remainder of its baseball season.   Other conferences will follow.  I am confident the owner and individuals that work on the site receive their main source of income from the website.   Unfortunately, they have nothing to cover now.  There will be no new subscriptions, no ad revenue, and more than likely a few subscription cancellations (not from me).  Think of the vendors, parking attendants, and staff at every NBA arena.   I talked to the owner of a local Mexican restaurant and he said they are fine now but his friend that has a place in Carytown is already feeling the squeeze.  It’s just the beginning too.  Schools have already closed in Virginia for two weeks.  For folks like me, that isn’t as much of a burden since I work from a home office.  However, the majority of working parents now have to figure out what to do.  And what about the children and families that depend on the breakfast and lunch provided at school?

 I, as well as a few others, have questioned the rationale behind the decisions being made.  Must we destroy the economy to control the virus?   I understand that for compromised individuals and elderly the virus is deadly.  I also know that a stomach flu would wreak havoc on a retirement home.   We haven’t intentionally put ourselves in a recession (or worse) for the safety of the populace.  Last I checked heart disease was the number one killer and McDonalds just introduced a four patty Big Mac.  

 What is even more fearful is the possibility of emergency rooms being overwhelmed throughout the nation.   Sadly, there will not only be thousands of actual cases but probably tens of thousands of paranoid people thinking they have it because they sneezed.  People will still have car accidents, there will be heart attacks and other emergencies.  These individuals could very well suffer due to paranoia of the masses.  

 My hope is that with someone like Tom Hanks and Donovan Mitchell (of the NBA’s Utah Jazz) contracting the virus, they will get better and then people will realize this is something that we can overcome.  Granted if they both succumb to the virus, especially the athlete – then panic.  See, I joke about any subject.  If it is a deadly virus for us all, I wish the best for humanity.