Whichever Way The Political Winds Blow, It’s All About The Economy
Heading into any presidential election, much of the conversation centers on the state of our economy and how we are doing as a nation. That could mean: How are we doing financially? Are we better off today than we were four years ago? Is consumer confidence on the uptick? Are we heading in the right direction as a country? Is my job secure?
All of these questions pique our interest and consume our thoughts. Mix them with our personal experiences and expectations these past six months – or three-plus years – and they will no doubt determine who we will vote for or, more likely, who will not receive our support.
In any race for high office where the stakes are significant, the reality is that it’s going to be all about “the economy, stupid.” It is what our Chamber is focused on each day and how we can help our local economy and consumer base get back to business. We had been humming along enjoying a low unemployment rate, significant growth and soaring consumer confidence.
But, given the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and its deleterious effects on our economy, it is hard to predict what will happen on November 3. But we know this: No matter what happens leading up to and after the election, we will stand strong as a business community and be there for our members, partners and stakeholders.
There is no known or predictable timeline that will determine our economic recovery, but our businesses are growing impatient, and this is having a tremendously negative impact on their survival. The reality is that they need you. They need your support. Every single day. They have grown weary in the face of COVID-19 and need a boost.
At the time of this writing, we are entering Phase II here in Coral Gables and Miami-Dade County. It has been six months since our economy shut down in the wake of the pandemic and more than two months since we took a step backwards from Phase I when Miami-Dade saw a significant spike of positive cases in July. And despite a small uptick in June, we have seen consumer confidence decline for the second straight month in September; it has now reached its lowest level in six years. This pessimism has been driven by the resurgence of the virus and also by behaviors that are anything but socially distant.
So, where do we go from here? The answer is simple. Do your homework, vote on election day (or early voting or absentee ballot), and understand that the economy is going to play a significant role in the results. As we enter the fourth quarter of the calendar year, let’s work collaboratively toward a full reopening, so that all of our businesses are able to recover more quickly than predicted. For our Chamber’s part, we are going to continue to support our local businesses, advocate for a successful Phase II and look to Phases III & IV, encourage a safe and healthy return to the office environment, and ask everyone to do their part. #wearyourmask
Mark Trowbridge is the president and CEO of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce