The toll of the pandemic has been devastating. Hundreds of thousands of American lives lost. Millions more have lost jobs or faced economic hardship. The pandemic has also taken a toll on Arizona’s businesses, and that will be the focus of this edition of In Business Magazine.
Some businesses have been able to adapt their model during the pandemic. Many businesses, however, have struggled and even closed their doors. That loss is felt by business owners who have seen their dreams and hard work disappear, by workers who have become unemployed during an economic crisis, and by communities that have lost iconic and important businesses.
The economic crisis impacting Arizona businesses was spurred by a public health crisis that has been inadequately addressed both in Arizona and around the country. In order to get our economy back on track, we have to slow the spread of the virus while effectively distributing the vaccine. A national plan for vaccine distribution is a top priority, and will get us to herd immunity more quickly, but it will still take time.
That is why Congress passed emergency COVID-19 relief in December to provide additional capital for businesses to continue operating and paying employees, as well as expanded unemployment benefits to keep struggling families afloat. A strong economic recovery depends on protecting jobs, and then making the investments in priorities like infrastructure and workforce development to create new jobs and get Arizonans the skills to fill them. In the months ahead, it is critical for Republicans and Democrats to work together to provide the certainty businesses need to make payroll and weather this crisis.
The cover story this month recognizes the multifaceted concerns of business owners and decision makers. In this shifting landscape, attorneys bring their expertise in healthcare, employment law, intellectual property, taxes, corporate structure and more to help businesses navigate new challenges.
One of the staples to successful business is communication, which has also been undergoing change. In her feature article “2021 Marketing Trends Foster Meaningful Connections in a Digital World,” veteran marketing professional Andrea Aker offers businesses a heads up on trends that gained force over this past year.
And later, an exploration of humanity in the business scene as part of ongoing series from guest columnists Tyler Butler and Doc Elliot: Elliot looks at challenges in the workplace environment, while Tyler focuses on actions businesses and their employees are taking to improve their communities.
In Business Magazine regularly fills its pages with varied content to support business, including healthcare, technology, real estate, communication and leadership. I’m pleased to pen the welcome note for this February edition, and hope you will find it a worthwhile read.
United States Senate
Senator Mark Kelly is a retired U.S. Navy combat pilot, engineer and NASA astronaut. He lives in Tucson with his wife, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Kelly is the son of two police officers, and he attended public schools from elementary school through the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. As a naval aviator, he flew 39 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm. Kelly was selected as an astronaut in 1996 and flew four missions aboard the space shuttle before retiring from NASA in 2011. On December 2nd, Kelly was sworn into the United States Senate to represent Arizona.