Survey Said: Some Positive News for Business

Survey Said: Some Positive News for Business

Tom Stilp, JD, MBA/MM, LLM, MSC

For those who have been around the block a few times, we’ve seen our fair share of cycles, downs and ups, and ups and downs.

We remember well the Gulf War and Black Friday in the late 1980s, Y2K on January 1, 2000, the Dot.Com bust, 9-11 in 2001, the Great Recession from 2008 to 2011, and now COVID-19.

But to paraphrase Mark Twain, be careful to get out of experience only what you are told and stop there, lest you be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid.  The cat will never sit down a hot lid again, but the cat will never sit down on a cold one either.

Our survey below, a conglomeration of different companies in various industries, demonstrates that, although difficult, there are businesses thinking beyond the next few weeks and months.

First, several businesses have taken advantage of the advice in our prior article and filed claims with their insurance, bringing money into their business.  (See “Is Your Business Insured for COVID-19”).

Second, there is optimism.  We can’t let the difficulties of our situation determine the limits of our abilities.  (Northwestern University Professor of Bands, John P. Paynter.)

When perception becomes reality, then, perception is the reality.

And the perception among business is not all bleak.  62% believe the effects of COVID-19 in several months will be slightly negative or neutral when all things are considered, and just over 20%, or one-in-five, businesses actually see things improving with breaking the old channels of distribution and creating new ways of doing business.  Only 16% of businesses believe COVID-19 is a negative, total disaster on their business.

The U.S. is 5% of the World’s population, but we manufacture 17% of the World’s goods here in the U.S.  Our economy is diversified.  Unlike China, whose economy is over 30% manufacturing, the U.S. economy is 11% manufacturing.

There is a great sense of morale; we’re all in this together.  A group cohesiveness unites us as people against a malignant and invisible microorganism.

122 years ago, the great British author, H.G. Wells, said in his masterpiece, The War of the Worlds (1898), about the mighty extraterrestrials who came to conquer the Earth only to be defeated by the microscopic armies of the Earth something that is valid for us to thing today:

“These germs of disease have taken toll of humanity since the beginning of things – taken toll of our prehumen ancestors since life began here.  But by virtue of this natural selection of our kind we have developed resisting power; to no germs do we succumb without a struggle.”

We need to remember this is not the first, nor will it be the last, time we are faced with crisis.  Although we cannot change the direction of the wind, we can change the direction of our sail, and we, like others, are here help you do that.