Economic uncertainty is here and a full economic recession may be just around the corner. Most of us know what this means and what the effect of previous slowdowns have taught us. Businesses will close, people will lose their jobs, mortgages will go unpaid, and ultimately, family, friends, neighbors and our communities will suffer because of it.
The federal government will take certain steps in an attempt to help businesses and everyday people. From lowering interest rates, delaying the tax payment deadline, bailing out key industries, to literally mailing checks to American citizens, these things are done in an attempt to shock the heartbeat of the economy and keep the blood circulating long enough for us to get back on our feet and moving again.
Now, the federal government is going to do these things. So regardless of your individual opinion about them and how much you support or don’t support it, ask yourself this question:
What will be the side effects?
Like a medical procedure or medication, these things will come with side effects and risks, short and long term. I’m not a financial expert so I’m not going to pretend like I know what the side effects will be, but any reasonable mind can understand that the government can’t simply print money into existence forever. I mean, I literally just told my six-year-old the other day that money doesn’t grow on trees.
I’m not blaming President Trump, the government or individual states for taking steps to protect the economy and the American people. Even if these things do come with side effects, I’m happy that my friends and neighbors will get some relief. And I’m proud to be in a country that has the resources, infrastructure, private-sector and bipartisan agreement to get these things done, regardless if I would make the same decisions or not. The smartest minds on diseases, doctors, financial experts, and world leaders spend hours in a room discussing what the best strategy is and as soon as they tell us their plans in a press conference, we immediately have an opinion and act like we know if it was the right thing to do while hoarding our toilet paper and sitting on the couch in our pajamas. Sure.
The government doesn’t have a cure
It’s important to understand that the actions the government is taking are not a cure for the problems that will hit the economy. They are a temporary fix. A band-aid. They are meant to ease the symptoms and stop the bleeding until the economy has the means to naturally heal itself.
The powerhouse of our economy
Beneath the ground floor of the economy is a foundation. It’s what powers our economy, our military, our government, our innovation and a huge part of what makes America the country that it is. This foundation is called small business.
During an economic slowdown, small businesses are hit hard. Many run on very thin margins already and can’t afford an 80%+ drop in business overnight. This economic crisis hit fast and hard and at a complete surprise. Just three months ago, did any of us expect the world to look like what it does today?
Small businesses aren’t run by nameless, faceless entities that “probably have a lot of money anyway”. They are run by family, friends, and neighbors who have taken a personal risk to start a business in our community. Small businesses are local restaurants, contractors, service providers, hair salons, gyms, drive-in theatres, local shops, farmers’ markets, and much more.
They employ almost 60 million people in the United States and is the reason you live in the country that you do today. Family, friends, and neighbors will be jobless and America will change if these businesses close their doors.
What can we do to support small businesses?
Given the nature of this particular challenge that faces us, it may not be possible to go out and have dinner, see a movie or keep every hair salon appointment. But where it’s possible to support these businesses, we need to do it. Buy a gift certificate that you know you will use at a later date anyway. Buy two. Leave a review on Google or Facebook. This helps far more than many people realize (trust me – I have the statistics to prove it). Call and reach out to help the business without accepting anything in return. Why? Because you can.
Remember, we are Americans. Understand what that means and where we come from. The land of the free and home of the brave blessed by our Creator. We fought a revolutionary war and started our own country. We have overcome much worse and are fully capable of fixing our problems, with or without the government’s help.
Support small businesses, even at a sacrifice. It’s not just the nice thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. It’s what we’ll do if we’re serious about fixing an economic crisis.
And while you’re at it, make sure your neighbor has everything they need today.