Small Business Ownership in the Time of COVID-19
Hey crew, remember me?
It turns out I still have a blog! Good things Google remembered my username and password, because I sure as heck didn’t.
It’s been a minute. I feel like I should be writing something timely in light of all the current events, although I don’t feel like I have a lot of unique insights or thoughts to share that haven’t already been exhausted.
That being said, I do have one prediction: in 8-12 months we’re going to see a birth rate spike, with trending names for baby boys Covid and girls named Rona. You heard it here first.
I haven’t been sleeping much, or sleeping well, and I know I’m not alone. I’m not personally scared of getting Coronavirus. I’m young, I’m healthy, and while there are Under-40s in critical condition, my chances are excellent. The things keeping me up are the risks to the vulnerable populations in our communities, the people who don’t have the luxury of self-isolating like I do because food and healthcare are so intrinsically tied to school and work in this country, and the uncertainty of how long I’m going to need to keep my business closed.
This may come as a shock, but small business ownership can be really hard (insert sarcastic eye roll here). I filed my taxes last week and it was the first time this year that I had really gone through my overhead expenses with a fine-toothed comb. The numbers are on a scale that I couldn’t have imagined 3 years ago when my aspirations for starting my own clinic were still in the larval stage. And I have a SMALL small business. I know many, many people for whom the interruption in daily cash flow or hourly wages is already bringing things to a grinding halt — people who are upstanding citizens, contributing important work to society, dignified in their own very humanity, who are facing things like food insecurity that NOBODY should ever face. This is a hiccup for me (at the present moment, anyway), but an insurmountable roadblock for many people. I’m getting a hefty dose of privilege-checking.
If there’s a take-away I’m holding onto today, it’s that we’re all fighting a war against a common enemy, but we are ALL fighting our own personal battles — today, and every day. I never know the whole story of what is going on with other people and I’m doing my best to extend that empathy.
I don’t want to even start with the “if something good can come of this” and “silver linings.” PEOPLE ARE DYING. More people WILL die. These are facts, not alarmist rhetoric. That being said, I’m using today as an opportunity to look inward at how I interact with those around me and focusing on what has heart and meaning for me; that for which I am willing to take a stand. Today, my stand is for empathy. I hope you’ll join me.