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Every Monday at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., Rob Gilligan provides information on what's happening in the area of regional development in Southeast Missouri. Rob is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber.

Let's Talk Business: Don't Cancel 2020

flickr user Elvert Barnes (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)

Many times I’ve heard people say just cancel 2020. It is a lost year.

There is no doubt it is a challenging year. Just as we began, COVID 19 raised its ugly head. As a country, in parallel with the world, we started down a road not traveled during any of our lifetimes. But today, many experts and I urge all of you to not discard 2020.

In the business world, let’s all use this catastrophe to evaluate our operation models. Businesses in categories hardest hit can use this to examine investments, staff, procedures, and most importantly, to pivot and build on opportunities moving forward. Retailers must strengthen their online presence. Restaurants must adapt to delivery methods. The travel and tourism industry must tap a different set of potential clients. And certainly, the entire education system must continue its investment in online instruction methods and infrastructure.

For those in industries doing well, it is critical to capitalize on the demand and, again, determine ways to keep business strong as life begins to normalize. Anticipate growth areas as things begin to change again and prepare and invest in those areas.

Yes, our world is nothing like it was six months ago, and we really don’t know how long our current situation will last. But what we do know is we must make the choice as to how we will proceed. 

John Mehner is the former President and CEO of the Cape Chamber.
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