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How to get ready for the post-pandemic economy

By: J. Burner Crew - January 13th, 2021

The local economy has been disrupted at best and devastated at worst over the past year.  If you are an employee in the hospitality or restaurant business life has changed dramatically, your employment and income subject to the latest state shutdown or restrictions to combat the virus.  While help is on the way there is no guarantee the vaccine will cure all of the ills created by the virus.  You may also realize you do not control your employment destiny and the virus may be more difficult to control than we currently realize as we are learning the virus is modifying its behavior and becoming more aggressive and contagious.


It will take time for our local businesses to recover to pre-Covid levels of activity and profitability. The best outcome will be difficult to achieve, a return to normal will take wide distribution by the end of 2021. The vaccine is the best stimulant for the global economy and the best path to full recovery, but widespread vaccination will take time and our community may not be a priority until the majority is safely out of the void. 

Now may be a great time to start your own business or company to control your future income and destiny.  There are a number of variables that may work in your favor. First, if you are unemployed or laid off, time is on your side.  Explore your options and create a list of the top three activities that would provide an income stream in the near term.  The internet has provided multiple platforms for sales if you have a creative product for our changing digital economy.  There are YouTube seminars from Amazon and others that will stimulate and create options you may not have considered until now.

What happens next will almost assuredly be different from the past. There must be opportunities to enhance productivity that have not been created yet.  We have learned working from home is more productive than assumed. Include a more traditional option to your list: landscaping, painting or a trade may offer immediate returns as you explore more unconventional options. 

"Until we overcome the lack of knowledge and some modest fear, we will continue to be consumers and not owners." 

Finally, consider buying on reasonable terms an existing business that others are looking to exit.  Don’t allow what you may not understand today about buying a business stop you from this option.  There are resources in the community that welcome your effort and can be of great assistance.  Northeast Ohio has a nonprofit network that is underutilized by the African American community.  While there are multiple risks to navigate owning your own business, it is the best way to close the wealth gap and control your own future.

Consider low interest rates and multiple assets for sale at attractive prices due to Covid. 

We live in a capitalistic system. Until we overcome the lack of knowledge and some modest fear, we will continue to be consumers and not owners.  There are multiple risks in being a permanent consumer in our economy; a blend of producer and consumer is much more desirable.  We will cover tangible steps in our next column.  If you have examples share them with the editor [rta(AT)] and we will respond in our next column. 

Remember: we have time as we shelter in place to make a positive impact on our future and the future of our community.

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