As Congress considers yet another wave of stimulus checks and emergency measures to keep the economy running, many businesses have yet to see any positive results from previous Congressional actions. The East Coast has been particularly hard-hit by the virus, with states like New York and New Jersey seeing the highest case counts and deaths. Even as lockdowns ease around the country, many business owners wonder how they will get access to the funds they need to reopen.
This doesn’t just apply to businesses in large urban areas like New York City or Miami, either. Many business owners in rural communities are struggling to get customers into their stores. Millions of people are without jobs and still waiting for financial aid from the government. This means that they have little to no extra money to spend on non-essential (and even essential) expenses.
So, where does this leave businesses? To be blunt, it leaves them in a particularly tough situation. Should businesses furlough their workers and shut their doors until aid arrives? Should businesses trust that Congress will act swiftly and provide funds for struggling businesses? Or should businesses attempt to provide their services as they always would, working under the assumption that this will all pass over quickly?
There’s really no simple answer. The fact remains that thousands of businesses on the East Coast (and throughout the country) are at a crossroads, with no solution in sight. Money is tight, people are desperate, and the looming threat of a deadly virus is only adding additional stress to the situation.
Fortunately, if your business has received aid from the government or you’ve found ways to keep afloat during the crisis, this is a good time to reevaluate your business processes. For those who have funds on hand, hiring a market research agency could be a great way to study the current consumer base and see how to best proceed in uncertain times. Not only could this help your business survive the current crisis, but it could also help you come out stronger once this is all over.
In any case, the argument over how best to restart the economy rages on throughout the country. Many business owners think it is too soon to lift quarantine restrictions for the sake of public health, while others see it as a necessary measure to revitalize an economy that is teetering on the brink of a depression. As Washington D.C. and all 50 states debate the pros and cons of opening, businesses and workers are forced to sit and take it on the nose.
What happens in the coming weeks will have a huge impact on thousands of small and medium-sized businesses. Will the opening of states help businesses make up for their losses? Will unemployment numbers return to normal levels as businesses regain lost income? Will government aid be enough to keep the economy from sinking into a depression? Only time will tell. In the meantime, all we can do is prepare ourselves for the difficult times ahead and try our best to keep our personal and business financials in the black (and hopefully green).