I know we are all feeling scared right now and rightly so. The Coronavirus has not only put our entire country on pause but is spiraling American businesses out of control. The state of our American economy will be shaped by the decisions we make for our employees in the next few weeks and months. Collectively companies across the country are laying off thousands of employees at this very minute. Unemployment rates of 20% are being discussed as our country prepares for another recession.
The challenge we face is that small businesses are the lifeblood of this country and asking them to stop operations goes against every grain of American resolve that we know in times of hardship. We spend most of our lives at our jobs and oftentimes spend more hours with coworkers than our families. Whether you make fifteen dollars an hour or fifty, a good job gives us purpose and drives us to know that we are doing our small part for our company and the economy.
Yet, I understand why we need to make these decisions. Lives are in the balance and if these are the necessary steps to save lives and get us back to a thriving economy then we must push through. I have always heard Americans are the most resilient and that will be put to the test no more than in the years to come.
On a personal front, this virus has forced me to stop the number one thing I love to do in this world the most and that’s run businesses. Having five businesses each with its own challenges during this time I am trying my best to navigate this crisis. As a CEO I make decisions everyday that until now seemed difficult and challenging. In my 20 years in business nothing is more challenging than what lies ahead, yet in this moment I feel weirdly optimistic.
As a leader I am supposed to, or at least look like I have all the answers. I have to admit I don’t have the answers to what we are faced with today. But what I can do is use everything I know, and everything I feel to make the best decisions that present themselves and that are in the best interest for the future of my businesses. The decisions will be hard but survival is critical in this moment as we need businesses to stay alive so when the economy comes roaring back it can provide jobs to all those that will lose them.
Perspective is imperative in times of crisis. As much as I love business, the health and well being of family and friends should be at the forefront of our minds at this time. Because without that nothing else matters. When you put that in context, the challenge ahead becomes less daunting and the future full of possibilities.
There is no doubt there will be a new business landscape when this is over, but as we have in the past Americans and American business owners will always find a way. Although we are physically apart at this moment, we need to unite together in order to prevail. I still believe in the American worker, I still believe in American business, and I truly believe America will come back stronger than ever.
With Appreciation and Gratitude,
Matthew Darienzo, CEO
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