Giving Thanks in a Time of Uncertainty
| November 21, 2020
By: John Regan
It is perhaps a sign of the times in which we live that the governor of the state in which the first Thanksgiving took place said last week that the holiday and its potential to spread COVID-19 “scares me to death.”
It is also a sign of the times that a Massachusetts small-business owner told me recently that she would be truly thankful this holiday season for another federal stimulus package to help thousands of Main Street businesses “that are hanging on by a thread and trying to keep employees on the payroll.”
Thanksgiving 2020 will indeed be remembered as an unusual celebration amid the upheaval of the global pandemic, economic turbulence and racial social unrest. But even as we sacrifice extended family gatherings and traditional high school football games, there remain innumerable signs of hope and courage for which can still inspire us to give thanks:
- We are thankful first and foremost for the fact that the Massachusetts business community has overcome unprecedented obstacles during 2020 by standing united and backing one other with heroic acts of kindness.
- Thankful for the brilliant researchers and scientists – many at AIM member companies like Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Sanofi, GSK, Merck and Novartis – who compressed the years-long process of developing a vaccine into a staggering eight months. It’s probably the most notable scientific achievement since the moon landing.
- Thankful for the medical professionals, first responders and public safety officers who have risked their own lives to protect, comfort and heal the citizens of Massachusetts.
- Thankful for the essential businesses that rolled up their sleeves and operated more safely than anyone could have imagined throughout the pandemic. These AIM members kept their doors open with equal measures of grit, determination and genuine concern for the health of their employees.
- Thankful for the dozens of AIM manufacturing members who pivoted from making paper and clothing to desperately needed personal protective equipment. The honor roll of these innovative companies ranges from large enterprises like New Balance and Procter and Gamble to smaller businesses across the state such as Universal Plastics and Hazen Paper of Holyoke, AIS of Leominster, Lancaster Packaging of Hudson and 99 Degrees Custom of Lawrence.
- Thankful for the public and elected officials struggling to balance the need to maintain public health with the need to preserve economic stability. We know it’s popular to bash politicians, but everyone from Governor Charlie Baker to the Massachusetts Legislature to mayors and public health directors throughout Massachusetts have approached the challenge with diligence and determination.
- And thankful for the unique collaboration between loyal AIM members and an immensely dedicated AIM staff to provide information, inspiration and support to the business community throughout the COVID-19 crisis. AIM staff members have pulled all-nighters, worked weekends and spent hours on calls to help employers navigate a rapidly changing environment and come out the other side. We together nurtured businesses that will be a force for positive change in the world.
I guess, on second thought, Thanksgiving is going to be OK after all.