This is a small opinion post and I’m going to try to keep it brief and to the point. There’s a lot of crazy going on these days and I think we all need to remember that we should be striving for what is best and not just what we can get by with. There will be a natural reaction if we don’t.
As you may have read this week, a lot of large multi-million dollar corporations got stimulus money that was meant for small businesses because of a loophole about how many employees they had at individual locations. You might also have read, or realized first hand, that the money in this program was gone before many of us could get a penny of it. (I’m not one of those people, my business wasn’t eligible).
This morning I was told that one of the large corporations that took loan money has returned it after getting called out in the press. This is all fine and good, but what people are going to remember is that they shouldn’t have taken that money in the first place.
Don’t even get me started on Hobby Lobby. After that little stunt, I was surprised that one of my friends that fits solidly in their demographic said they’d never shop there again because they needlessly put people at risk. I think the message is clear though; people are watching what we do as businesses.
So, a word of caution and a recommendation; we need to think carefully about what steps we are taking. People will remember how we conducted ourselves. Don’t do the bare minimum that we can get by with. Go as far above and beyond as we are able to. Also, don’t be afraid to communicate these things via your social media and other channels, but don’t be cheesy about it either.
Many of us won’t be standing when this is over. Some of us will have to reinvent our businesses for whatever the future is going to be. However, with local businesses, our reputation is everything. If we’ve been seen as greedy or self-serving, we’re going to have a much more difficult time when we reach the new normal.