The year 2020 will be remembered, among other things, as the year that devastated small business in the United States and around the world. The novel coronavirus 19 swept the planet and disrupted the life that we all took for granted before. In many economies, small business is the engine that keeps it all going. In the United States, more than 150,000 small businesses have shut their doors, many permanently. At the same time, large corporate business was protected and in many cases, thrived.
The time has come to ask why. Was it simply a matter of bad luck? Did we stumble into a “pandemic” and there was nothing that could be done to avoid this calamity?
It is becoming clearer every day that this is most certainly NOT the case. What started as an effort to “flatten the curve” of hospital admissions, has turned into a year of more and more draconian responses to what any reasonable person can see is another corona flu that had little more medical impact than a strong flu (covid virus) variant of years past.
The fact that these restrictive measures have been put in place haphazardly across the country with minimal differences in overall transmission and impact between states that have endured these lockdowns and those that have remained relatively unhindered is a testament to the ineffectiveness and punitive nature of this approach.
In addition to the measures taken above, those who rightfully question the rationality of these policies and their severe impacts on workers and businesses are finding themselves the target of censors and deplatforming on major social media platforms, many of which these same citizens conduct and promote their livelihoods.
In recent days we have seen how the big tech monopolies plan to “manage” us. Broad swaths of account holders who did not follow accepted group-think protocols on these tightly controlled platforms have been summarily dismissed from the public square of social media, up to and including the official accounts of the President of the United States!
So the reasonable question to ask as a small business owner in the United States in these tumultuous times is, what can be done?
The answer likely lies in how far you are willing to resist these attacks and how proactive you want to be in protecting your business. If you are like most small business people you have poured your life’s blood, sweat, and many tears into your independent enterprise. Are you satisfied with the prospect of losing all of that so that business can concentrate into the hands of the Home Depots, Amazons, and Wallmarts who have escaped these restrictions relatively unscathed (some have actually seen astronomical profits as a result!)?
If not, there are things you can do to protect your hard work and ensure that you are in a position to preserve your entrepreneurial achievements from these predators. Looking at alternative advertising and networking opportunities is the first step. When you realize that you are not alone and that there are millions of Americans who share your concerns and are willing to do something about them, you will understand that it is possible for us all to work together to reclaim our rights to engage in our livelihoods without fear of retribution and power-hungry bureaucrats and politicians. Reach out, educate yourself, and rise to the challenge. The alternative is simply unacceptable.