Dual Realities

By Alfred Solano

During this time of crisis due to COVID-19 pandemic we are asked to stay at home except for when we are doing essential business. This is an important step to minimize the spread of this disease. Even so, this situation is having a severe impact on business and organizations.  In turn, the impact on those entities is severely affecting peoples’ lives in various ways and to varying degrees.

What is apparent to me is that there are dual realities because of this crisis. Some of us are being Inconvenienced while others are being devastated. There are those of us who are able to work from home with little worry about how we will immediately survive. We will likely be able to weather this storm. On the other end of the spectrum, we have a population of folks who are experiencing no or very limited income because their workplace is closed or greatly reduced in capacity, and they have no good way to work from home. Whether they get through this situation is not so assured.

Fortunately, at this time I am only being inconvenienced, and I am thinking of how I can support those who are being devastated. In my case, for example, I am driving very little these days, and even when I do drive, the price of gasoline is very low. My personal budget is benefiting because I am not spending money on fuel like I normally do. That surplus of money is not a huge, but my wife and I are consciously spending it in our local retail shops, restaurants (where we are tipping as generously as we are able), and service businesses.

Money spent locally has a direct and immediate impact on local payroll, the purchase of goods, services, rents/utilities and contributes to the local tax base. At this particular moment that money may be the difference between a local business surviving or shuttering their doors.

I recognize that not all local businesses have online stores and it is very easy to search online and quickly buy what we need or want at the click of a button from an out of the area enterprise.  Please remember, those out of area purchases do nothing to support our local economy.

My ask is that each of us evaluate our current situation. If you are able, let’s support local businesses wholeheartedly by buying local to the extent that we can. Together we can get through this crisis. Be well!

Some helpful websites for local businesses who would like to offer products and services on-line:

Creative Waco has created an online marketplace www.makeitinwaco.com to serve as a means for local businesses to easily set up an online store.

The Cen-Tex Chambers have created an online directory free to all local businesses at www.buylocalwaco.com.

Alfred Solano was raised in Waco and is a graduate of Texas State Technical College. He is the President and CEO of the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce since June of 2018. His community activities include currently serving as a board member of Act Locally Waco, the Family Health Center, Hillcrest Health System, Inc., MCC Foundation, StartUp Waco, and Vice Chairman of Prosper Waco.  After 35 years of working in the business community, Alfred enjoys bringing his experiences and various partnerships and relationships to the membership and community that the Hispanic Chamber works to serve. Rachel his wife can be found around town enjoying all the coolness that is Waco. Alfred and Rachel are very proud of his Daughter Elena who works as a Psychotherapist and lives in Austin. Contact information: 254 754-7111 · [email protected] · www.wacohispanicchamber.com.

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