I don’t know about you; but severe storms and tornadoes during a world-wide pandemic on top of news that funding sources will offer a fraction of the relief promised to small businesses gives a new perspective to the age-old question, “What’s the worst that could happen?”

Here’s the thing though: while forced change isn’t exactly how any of us prefer to test our endurance, flexibility, and ingenuity; what this crazy time has exposed is just how innovative, resourceful, and tenacious we all are. This email is getting out to you a little later than I had hoped because I’ve been on calls with chamber colleagues across the country identifying best-practices, pain points, and potential solutions to recovery planning. The underlying theme to all of the viewpoints and examples shared is that the business community, not government, will lead our recovery effort. The government certainly has a role to play, and we have tremendous local partners here in Houston County; but our “return to work” for many and “rebound planning” for most has to have the input, buy-in, and willingness of businesses to implement in order to be effective.

I think it’s important for each and every one of us to use this time to refine our focus, to remove excuses that held us back in the past, and to recommit ourselves to seeing possibilities in this impossible situation. Our communities and our nation have been through trials before. Let’s make sure we take the time to see the areas of weakness this pandemic has exposed and do whatever it takes to overcome those. Then, let’s give ourselves permission to dream again – to reimagine what’s possible and then to fight for that dream with everything we have. And if you find yourself needing to rethink your priorities altogether, ask yourself “if I wasn’t doing (insert what your work is now), what would/could I do?”

It’s probably not a shock that I didn’t go to college to be a Chamber professional. I actually ended up at the Chamber as an escape from a job that changed dramatically post-2008 into something I no longer had a passion (or skill set) for. And y’all – I thank God every day for that challenge in my life because that’s how I found my passion – my true calling…and you! Plan B doesn’t have to stand for bad – mine may very well be the best thing that ever happened to me. And remember, your Chamber team works for you! We’re just a call, email, or Facebook message away; and we would love to hear from you!