Hindsight is 2020.
Never has a cliché seemed more appropriate. So, let us leave 2020 in the rearview mirror and look forward. But before we do that, let’s look around us to make sure we are not leaving anyone behind. This pandemic has caused many to have hardship and while we have all witnessed great deeds of generosity and compassion by so many members, we must keep our hands extended to friends, neighbors and business associates who still hurt. Many are so proud they will cover up their hurt, making it hard to see. We must keep our eyes, ears, arms and our hearts wide open.
As you know, I am an eternal optimist. But I must admit there have been moments over the last ten months where I had a hard time seeing the glass half full. And then one day while sitting at my office desk at the MCHQ, I looked at a picture of my dad in his United States Marine Corps uniform from the 50’s looking like he could conquer the world – and I thought about all he overcame in his life to care and provide for his family. He was of very modest means but he was proud, determined and unrelenting in his love and compassion for others. It was that moment that re-energized me to fill the glass to the top and to look forward. And I am not looking back!
Happy new year and welcome to 2021!
Now let’s beat this virus and get back to business. But first, we must keep up our guard in protecting ourselves and others by masking up, washing hands frequently, getting tested and sanitizing our surroundings. It is up to all of us to do our part and if we continue this while the vaccine is being ramped up, we will soon beat COVID-19.
What can you expect from the MC?
The management team here at the MC is motivated and determined to re-energize our programs virtually until we get to the Spring when we can get outdoors and gather in larger groups again. We have thought long and hard about what is important to our membership and while our core values will never change, we are reimagining how a business organization like the MC can be even more relevant to you.
We have a few new ideas currently baking that need some more time in the oven but here are a few plans we have concluded:
✔️ Economic development advocacy is more important now than maybe any other time in our history. We are in the planning stages to host a Mayor’s Summit on Small Business so we can aid local and Main Street businesses and showcase just how important they are to the fabric of our communities. We will bring policy makers to the table to talk about how to sustain a strong economy by continuing investments in transportation infrastructure, updating zoning regulations and, yes, finally building a convention center at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. We must make sure local officials and policy makers keep an eye on the future and implement policies now that will help rebuild and sustain a strong economy for all sized businesses.
✔️ While we have all adapted to the “virtual world” and in some ways we believe virtual will be a mainstay in many areas, nothing replaces in-person relationship building. We will adapt in 2021 to bring together smaller groups but with greater frequency. Networking in person – with all safety protocols being utilized – may take place at the MCHQ multiple times per week in small groups. We hope to advance this in February.
✔️ We will reimagine our Business Learning Academy initiative by creating new video podcasts and by partnering with our colleges and university members to host sessions in our Innovation Learning Center at the MCHQ. We will also provide access to those sessions in an “on demand” format so if you cannot attend the virtual event when it takes place, you can view or listen to learn at your leisure from the comfort of your couch or home office.
✔️ When we invested in the MCHQ, we did so to provide greater value and be a benefit resource to businesses – especially small businesses – who may not have access to such a facility or technology. We have upgraded the MCHQ with safety protocols and we will expand those resources even further. Stay tuned for upgrades, including a video studio available to all members.
Lastly, please let us know if you need assistance in processing your PPP loan application or any other matter. Remember the MC is a total resource to you. My entire management team, as well as our board of advisors, are committed to helping our membership manage through this crisis and emerge with dignity and strength. Please do not hesitate to call upon us.
Again, my best wishes for a prosperous new year. Good riddance 2020 and forward we go in 2021!
Respectfully, and with even more determination than ever,