A New Normal
Recently, LIBA hosted our annual Free Enterprise Celebration and began to celebrate our 40th anniversary as an organization. In preparation for convention, I was able to meet with and talk to some of our founders. They shared a lot of history of the organization. I really appreciate their passion. These founding members have played a pivotal role in business and policy in Lincoln, resulting in an active membership that is passionate about our community. They encouraged members to support other member businesses. All of these are things we continue today.
I am reminded of a previous article where I shared my “why” conversation with our middle daughter. In that conversation, I share my passion and love for Lincoln and wanting to help the community to grow and prosper. Now, more than ever, I remain steadfast in the passion for our community and the businesses in our community.
With the recent changes in our country related to the pandemic of COVID-19, it is time to make sure we continue to support local business as much as possible. With the ever-changing landscape right now, we cannot predict what will happen moving forward and the affect it will have on local businesses. With the numerous closings happening and events being postponed or canceled, our local businesses will see a great impact. All edges of our community, from the hospitality industry to retail, will feel the strain of this outbreak.
Moving forward, we will need to keep in mind that what we considered “normal” a month ago is not normal any longer. We may start talking about the “new normal,” however that may look in the coming days, weeks, and months. The way education is going to be delivered will change. Things will be changing all around us and we will persevere. Now, thinking about all of these changes and the “new normal,” I am reminded of my time in Cedar Rapids, IA in 2008 during the great flood. As the waters of the river rose, we had no idea of the impact it would have on our community. We didn’t know how long evacuations would last or what changes we would see hour by hour or day by day. I believe we are in the same situation moving forward with the COVID-19 virus and the changes it will bring about in our lives. Some days, we will be thinking what is important in the next hour, then the next day, then the next week, then the coming months.
Thinking about uncertainty like this can be scary…really scary. Change is never easy and is usually full of uncertain outcomes. As business people in Lincoln, we will need to support other businesses. With the loss of anticipated revenues because of large events, our business owners are going to experience some great unknowns and my hope is, as a community, we will rally to support them. When there would have traditionally been a big event coming to town, maybe consider making an extra effort to get to the local store or restaurant that week to give them a boost and show them we still care about our community and our many local businesses. I would also encourage you to talk with our business owners and check on them—sometimes a caring smile or conversation goes a long way in helping others out. Together, we as a community can help each other understand and cope with whatever becomes our “new normal.”
Finally, as you have heard over the past few weeks, we need to practice basic consideration for others—if you are ill or at-risk to become ill, don’t attend events and stay home. The most at-risk right now are those who are older adults and those with underlying health conditions. We can protect everyone by making sure we practice these basic steps.
LIBA studies and promotes these types of issues that are important to businesses and our community. If you have an interest in joining LIBA, please call me at (402) 466-3419. LIBA membership is not restricted to just businesses. We also have “individual” memberships for those who want to help influence our local government decisions.
For more information on LIBA, visit Liba.org.