There are 78 days from the day after the November 3rd, 2020 election day and the Presidential innaguration day of January 20, 2021. Regardless of who wins the Presidential election, we belive that the potential for distruption and risk is high for small businesses and other communities in the United States. To help put these issues in context, we have come up with the 678 monitor framework to track these issues and to help our clients manage their risks.
The 6 Issues to monitor over the next 78 days.
- The biggest political uncertainty is obviously the US Presidential election. There are many scenarious where the contest could become disputed, with both candidates declaring themselves the winner. There could be legal challenges to count votes and a high level of uncertainty. Keep in mind that if Joe Biden wins, Donald Trump will still be in charge of the Federal Government for 78 days.
- Many Federal programs inacted in response to the Covid-19 crisis ends on December 31. Unemployment benefits for many expire at the end of the year, as does the hold on evictions.
- Local government rules may also change. As November 3rd covers all elections, many local cities and governments may also be seeing a change in government. These changes may drastically change lock-down orders or other policies involving Covid-19. New mayors and local officials may quickly change local restrictions.
- Key Takeaway: Be aware that many governemnt policies may change at the end of the year that may impact your operations.
- There is a rise in political unrest across major cities in the United States. Businesses in high-traffic urban areas have already boarded up their storefronts to prevent damage from civil unrest. If your store is in a major urban area, take precaution to protect your employees and yourself in case of unrest.
- The Department of Homeland Security reported that white supremacy was the "most persistent and lethal threat in the homeland". With white supremacists and milita members opening supporting Donald Trump, all immigrants and minorities shoudl express caution in the aftermath of the November 3 election.
- There has also been a rise in hate crimes against the Asian-American community. With the continuing crisis invovling Covid-19 and the continuing trade war with China, all Asian Americans should express caution.
- Key Takeaway: Be aware of your surroundings and take extra precaustion to keep yourself, your family, and your business safe.
Social Media, disinformation, and cybercrime
- There will be bad actors on social media and across the internet. They will try to stoke violence, increase confusion, or get you to click on a post.
- Keep in mind that hackers always use the holidays to send out fake emails to get people to click.
- The major social media companies will be attempting to restrict false and dangerous content on their platforms, but it is almost impossible to monitor. Don't click on links from profiles you are not familiar with, and take caution in beliveing what you read.
- Key Takeaway: Be exteremly cautions with what you see on social media and across the internet.
Covid-19 is at its worst
- On October 30, 2020, the United States recorded over 99,000 coronavirus cases, the highest number of daily cases reached since the pandemic started. It is at its highest peak now in the United States, and it will get worse during the next 78 days.
- Due to the winter weather, more people are staying indoors and are being in closed areas. As the virus spreads through the air you breath, having people together in enclosed rooms make it easeier for the virus to spread. Since outdoor dinning and outdoor gatherings can no longer take place due to the cold weather, more people are gathering indoors and the risk is higher than ever.
- Key Takeaway: The next three months will be the peak of the Covid-19 spread. Don't let up on your safety protocols.
- In the next 78 days, the year's biggest holidays take place. Thanksgiving, Hannauka and Christmas, and New Years Eve/New Years Day. These holidays are the most social holidays of the year where family and friends gather. As we mentioned, this is also how Covid-19 spreads.
- Some local governments may have restrictions regarding family get-toghthers and other gatherings. If you have family members who are at risk, precaution must be taken on how you will handle the holiday season.
- Key Takeaway: The holiday season will not be like years past. Plan accordingly.
Impact on businesses
- There will be a severe impact on all small businesses this year.
- Due to local restrictions, holiday parties may not take place, along with any type of social gathering. The impact on venues, restuarants, personal stylists and other holiday services will be devastating.
- The concept of Black Friday has already been changed. Major retailers are already starting online sales and advertising sales during the month of November. Due to social distancing guidelines, stores will not be able to have crowds rush through their stores on Black Friday. All retailers must think about alternatives to the holiday shopping experience.
- Key Takeaway: Businesses will be severly impacted by changes in the holiday season.