...But it has nothing to do my investments!
I’m not afraid of the recent drops in the stock market. All of the major indexes have taken a beating since this started and watching them as closely as I do has felt like riding the Tornado at Adventureland back home in Iowa. Even so, I’m still very optimistic about the market as a whole in the medium or long term.
I see absolutely no reason to sell right now – especially out of fear or panic. Now is the time to BUY as much as you can. It’s what Warren Buffett is doing, and he’s one of the smartest investors out there. After almost every major pandemic in modern history, as soon as the market recovered, it soared to new heights. If you want to be kept up-to-date on the market and read the latest data, please subscribe to my new 2020 Market Volatility blog.
Let me also say I’m not afraid of getting COVID-19 or passing it to my immediate family here in AZ. We’re all healthy and thankfully without underlying conditions. I did cancel a trip to visit my brother in Ohio last weekend. He has asthma and two little children so that didn’t feel smart, even though I can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to seeing them.
There is one thing that has been worrying me - the impact the Coronavirus is having on small businesses.
So many small businesses and entrepreneurs - from local restaurants to estheticians and plumbers to house painters - were literally put out of business overnight. With no certain end in sight, many won’t survive without massive support or government intervention.
As I was leaving the office yesterday, I stopped to look back at our building. At 4:30 p.m., every business was dark except mine and Diamondback Physical Therapy. And there was NO therapy going on, just someone sitting at the front desk. Through downtown, on many front doors, I saw the same sign I saw at the Bare Necessity Wax and Spa in my building: “Unfortunately, due to the high risk environment that we impose to both our clients and employees, we have decided as a company to close until April 1st… ”.
I feel very fortunate that I began offering virtual meetings several years ago and have that as an option. I can work from anywhere. These businesses can’t. They rely on foot traffic and butts in seats, and I’m terrified for them. They are facing really hard decisions that I’m sure weren’t even in their realm of possibility a mere two weeks ago.
My business will be fine and come out of this stronger. We had a disaster recovery plan in place and executed it flawlessly. But I’m sad for my fellow entrepreneurs in Gilbert and across the country.
We need to do what we can to help our small businesses. But what can we do if we can’t set foot in their shops? Here are a few ideas:
- Get take-out for dinner from your local restaurant or order it from UBER Eats. (They are waiving delivery fees for all local restaurants!)
- Go to their website and buy a gift certificate to be used when the pandemic subsides.
- Promote them on your social media pages and ask your friends to do the same. Opentable has a gift card marketplace where you can search by location, cuisine and more!
- If you’re local to Gilbert, their Farmers Market downtown has many vendors offering pre-orders and pickup.
- Book an event or party in the fall. Book your DJ, caterer and photo booth now. Show these people that we need and want them to continue to serve the community.
And, when you see a healthcare worker, thank them for taking care of your community. They are struggling, too. Things are likely to get worse before they get better. But as worried as I am, I am confident that TOGETHER we can make it through this. We will come out the other side stronger than before.
I’ll be reaching out over the next week or so just to see how you’re doing and to ask if there’s anything I can do to help. If you don’t want to wait for me to call you, click HERE to schedule a call now.