At the time I submitted this article, we were all at home, trying to steer clear of other humans to avoid COVID-19. Who knows what the next two weeks will bring as our state, nation and world deal with this crazy virus? And to make matters even more interesting… we had an earthquake.
I spent some time at our Salt Lake County Emergency Operations Center. Rest assured we have professionals helping us navigate these difficult situations. Our county health director has been involved in every detail related to COVID-19. Our public safety and public works personnel oversaw issues related to the earthquake. We have others who are monitoring public safety and health 24/7 and keeping policy-makers and other decision-makers informed. These people are watching out for you.
It’s times like these that I think about how lucky we are to have strong communities that band together and help each other during times of need. It’s touching to see neighbors reaching out to each other to make sure they are okay. I love hearing stories of how families are trying to still support local businesses during these difficult times.
There is a lot of uncertainty right now. This text from my neighbor was poignant, and I share this with his permission so we can all better understand some of the additional burdens small business owners may be carrying. Others may have these same fears as they wonder if they will be getting a paycheck, or if their job will exist:
“Of course we all want to be civil minded and help keep the virus from spreading, but at what economic cost? We all have families to feed. My business is responsible for the income of six families. If I go under, a lot of people will become welfare burdens on the state. I believe It is very shortsighted for the government to mandate so much of small businesses without giving any definitive help. They want to force us to give employees paid time off. That mandate alone will bankrupt me. Promises of small business loans and a website address aren’t going to cut it.”
I get it. It’s frustrating when we have no timelines and not a lot of great answers. The great thing about Utah, though, is we know how to do hard things and this will not last forever - aftershocks will stop, immunity will develop, supply chains and economies will adapt, and markets will recover. Jobs will once again be plentiful and businesses will boom. We can do this! In the meantime, hug your families (or maybe elbow-bump), keep an eye out for your neighbors, and stay healthy.
Aimee Winder Newton has been serving on the Salt Lake County Council since January 2014. She is the current chair of the council. Her district encompasses Murray, Taylorsville, West Valley City and West Jordan, and a small portion of South Salt Lake and Millcreek... [read more]
|Aimee Winder Newton||
aimee winder newton: County Council district 3