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Return on Sacrifice

November 2, 2020Marshall Morris, 2020-2021 Chamber Chair, First Financial Bank

Last week was a challenging one for our community. What we have worked hard to avoid over the past nine or so months finally happened.

This virus caused a bottleneck in our health system, straining their resources and the ICU capacity we have not only in Abilene, but our entire “zone” as assigned by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

I can tell you with confidence after meeting last week with community leaders that the last thing anyone wants is for us to go back to where we were in March. Our hospital being overloaded is a community challenge that requires each of us doing our part to avoid a mandated rollback of our businesses or activities from the Governor’s office.

Last Monday, your Chamber staff surveyed a little over 200 Chamber volunteers in a quick two question survey regarding rollback prevention for the business community. Of those who responded, 94 percent stated the business community has a role to play in ensuring our economy remains open.

But, how do we stay open with our hospital system inundated? Our nurses exhausted?

We talk a lot in business about ROI – Return on Investment. What if we take that same concept and think about it as a Return on Sacrifice?

If we collectively, as business leaders, come together and make small sacrifices such as wearing a mask when not able to keep your physical distance, washing hands, getting a flu shot, etc. what do you think the return on those small sacrifices will be?

This is tough for all of us. We know that not all like wearing a mask, and we understand. We know we as Texans don’t like Government or anyone else for that matter telling us what to do.

But, when our health system reaches out to the community for help with blood donations, don’t we as Abilenians come together to do our part to help? When a nonprofit is seeking food donations, when a loved one up the road has cancer, don’t we all come together to help in whatever way we can?

Our intent here is not to create a panic, but rather to avert Government overreach that does none of us any good as business leaders.

We all have a role to play in ensuring our economy remains open. Let’s do our part to make sure that happens.  Let’s control what we can and make the small sacrifices in order to ensure our local businesses are able to continue operating.

Last thing – I ask that everyone look for creative, safe ways to support our local businesses and establishments during the upcoming season.  “Buy Abilene” means more today than it ever has.

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