COVID-19: Five reasons for small business to stay positiveby Eamonn McMahon
As we come to the end of a difficult week of negativity and uncertainty, many of us small businesses are suffering from increased anxiety over the Corona virus and the economic fall-out. In the weeks and months ahead we will hear of private sector projects being cancelled or put on hold and difficult decisions on staffing and investment will need to be made. Saying that, here at EquipmentConnect we think it's important not to let ourselves get steam rolled by the prophets of doom. There are some very good reasons for optimism and we outline five below.
The Medical Community know what they are dealing with. They are collaborating, sharing data and supporting each other.
When viruses appeared in the 20th century, scientists would often take many months, sometimes years to identify the outbreak and strain. This allowed the virus to take hold in a population as a mysterious illness, causing panic. In the case of COVID-19, doctors know what they are fighting and countries like the UK are benefiting from a knowledge bank and entering the battle, better prepared.
The World Health Organisation, the CDC and other world organisations are making a real difference by sharing data and insight, helping countries to prepare for worst case scenarios.
The powerful force of modern science is united against COVID-19
Some of the best qualified, more knowledgeable people are working overtime to develop a vaccine to COVID-19 and to discover more effective anti-viral drugs. After just over a month,164 articles could be accessed in PubMed on COVID19 or SARSCov2.
Yesterday Sanofi, the French pharmaceutical company, announced that Kevzara, a drug normally used to treat arthritis, may help the fight against COVID-19. In the US, collaboration between universities is driving new ideas and here in the UK we have state-of-the-art facilities like the Francis Crick institute facilitating research.
Young workers seem to generally suffer mild symptoms and recover quickly
Compared to influenza or other corona viruses, the young adults, the backbone of the economy seem to be coming through quite well. Mortality in under 40 year olds is only 0.4%.
Furthermore, recovery is quite quick with most patients over the worst in 4-5 days and fully recovered in two weeks.
The Government are taking concrete action
Rishni Sunak didn't hold back on his first budget as Chancellor of the Exchequer yesterday. The Chancellor hit the ground running with a £12 billion stimulus this year government investment spending will average 2.9% of real economy. The effect of all this government spending in the real economy is expected to add about 1% per annum to GDP. The government are offering rates relief for small business and grants of up to £3000. It is likely HMRC and other government organisations who provide funding like Innovate UK will support British business by being more flexible over the coming months.
Furthermore, the Bank of England has unleashed a number of policy instruments to ensure monetary stability and slashed interest rates by 0.5% yesterday. In addition they have incentivized the banks to lend money to small business in the real economy.
This virus can be contained.
Both China and now, South Korea have shown that this virus can be defeated. Authoritative leadership is required and people must be willing to make sacrifices, but where quarantine is successful, business normality can return surprisingly quickly. In Wuhan, China where the virus first emerged businesses are now reopening and the government are working hard to ensure people can work.