Uncertain, unsettled, fluid, is how I would describe the status of the Legislature’s 2020 session. It’s been almost 4 weeks since Speaker Scheer announced that proceedings have been postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 crisis. We are still unsure when they will convene again. With COVID-19 consuming the majority of everyone’s time, your Chamber has turned to Washington to see what’s happening on the federal level and we are doing our best to keep you all up to date on our kearneycoc.org/covid19 page. We will continue to pass along any information on congressional or administration actions that could affect businesses.
A major concern to our community is the fate of small businesses. A new poll from MetLife and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce revealed that one in four small businesses said they are two months or less from closing permanently amid the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. One in 10 say they are less than one month away from permanently going out of business. The relief that the government has offered businesses is just a band aid if this goes too far into May.
This is why it is vital that we as a community find creative ways to support our local small businesses. It reminds me of the Biosphere 2 project in Arizona where they were studying different ecosystems. They realized that all of the trees inside were growing very rapidly but then would all break before getting to a mature reproduction age. Why? Because there was no wind inside the dome. The trees needed the wind to create stress and stress is what created resiliency so they can survive long term. We as people are the same way. We need stress to build resiliency and that is what we are doing right now. We do that with grace and compassion, what Kearney is known for. I can’t sugar coat it, it sucks right now but we will be better in the long term.