By Dean Burnette, GABB President and managing broker of Best Business Brokers of Savannah
In the last few days my email has had a growing amount of Covid-19 Update emails! When I turn the television or radio on I hear or see “Corona virus” 100’s of times. Although coverage of a global pandemic is understandable, we’re only human.
If exposure to the virus doesn’t get us, hearing bad news may.
Being an eternal optimist with real life experience through several world economic cycles, including the oil embargo of the 1970’s and 1980’s, The Y-2-K threat of 2000, the real estate bubble, I’m quite confident that most of us will survive this. In fact, some will prosper and some will not.
There will be short term challenges. I have been personally impacted by the current travel challenges. One buyer was supposed to fly in from Chicago last week to look at a business, another client was supposed to fly down from Ohio, and they both had to cancel. I’m expecting a buyer from New York to fly into Savannah Saturday morning, and I’m wondering if he will actually make it?
Some will be impacted more than others; I hope we will be compassionate and aware of other’s struggles. As in the past, most people will come out the other side of this challenge better than they imagined. In each of these cycles, new industries were created!
New industries will be created; some will become obsolete.
We’ve all learned a new term with Covid-19, Social Distancing. I’ve long said that there are some people you have to love from a distance, and social distancing certainly puts a new spin on that! The world may never be the same again.
I am over 60, and so I am at a higher risk than the general population and should take extra precautions. With all the technological advances in communication and social media, I don’t know whether to feel safer or more vulnerable with my higher risk senior status. But I do know that in every crisis, there are possibilities, a silver lining in a rain cloud.
The positive side of the Covid-19 experience
This too shall pass and probably sooner than we imagine! The world is much better equipped to overcome pandemics and other challenges that come at us. We are currently witnessing in real time the wonders of technology and the benefits we have in this day and time.
Instead of dwelling on the negative aspects of our current world challenges, we can find the silver lining. For example, I have two clients who have been able to secure business loans because of the lowered interest rates. After being cooped up for a couple of weeks or longer I believe people will fill up their gas tanks with cheap gas and travel locally, spend money in small businesses. I hope we can use this time of solitude to appreciate our families more and get some of those closets, garages, or spring cleaning done.
Opportunities will emerge
Other bright spots:
- Gasoline prices are very low.
- Interest rates are at historic lows, creating many opportunities for economic growth through new manufacturing opportunities and business expansion.
- Instead of going on cruises and traveling to other countries, people will fill up their tanks and spend their money locally in small businesses. More people will drive to Savannah or visit the Atlanta Aquarium!
- Many companies are encouraging people to work from home during the crisis, and after the crisis many will continue working from home.
- We all have learned the best way to wash our hands, and we’re washing more frequently, and most of us will be more aware of our health and hygiene.
- Because of our new awareness of how much we depend on foreign companies for vital products, more manufacturing will be done here.
- New industries will be created and more jobs and business opportunities will result from this crisis.
If you have been considering buying or selling a business, the stars are lining up, interest rates are low, and the U.S. government will be putting extra efforts into economic stimulus. Gas prices are very low, and people will have more money to spend in local businesses. The list goes on. If you have been waiting for the right time to buy or sell a business, that time is now. It sometimes takes months to close a deal, by that time the virus will be history, and businesses will beginning to flourish again!