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A Call For Responsibility

Impact & Advocacy , Local Stories , Chamber Updates
April 10 2020

Good Morning.  

Today’s message diverts from our regular commitment to serve you with your business needs.  Instead, it addresses our current crisis from a broader perspective—with business front-and-center as a key player in the solution.

Did you know that, nationwide, 75% of people trust their employer more than any single institution and trust business leaders and employers to improve the area in which they live? 

Now, more than ever, that trust holds with it a significant amount of responsibility. With today’s letter, I am asking you to fulfill the opportunities that come with that trust.

We all know times are tough, even devastating. We all know people and businesses have had their lives, their plans and their futures disrupted beyond anything we could have imagined just a few short weeks ago. And we all know that the disruption will likely far out-live the simple timeframe of the virus. 

But we also all know that social distancing, masks & gloves, temperature taking, and cautious and responsible behavior is the best –the only- way to ensure we can put this behind us and get back to the business of being in business.  And we all know it only takes one irresponsible person, one reckless workplace not following guidelines or one event held too soon, to significantly alter that timeframe.

So, today, I am asking you to fully lean into the reality that employers are the most trusted source of information and, as such, embrace the opportunity—if not the obligation— to model the behavior that will get us out of this crisis as soon and as safe as possible.

Sure, the pain is real all around us. But acting irresponsibly at this time will only prolong that pain. 

Being able to practice and role model responsible behaviors from a platform of trust is simply the best, most generous contribution the business community could make at this moment.

As I write this, the numbers for Lancaster County are of great concern with close to 600 Lancastrians testing positive for the virus.  And, to state the obvious, each “number” represents an actual person. Neighbors, co-workers, friends, family.

And models suggest we could be weeks away from our peak. 

But, there is hope. We can alter this curve. We can save lives. And the business community can take the lead in role modelling how. 

You know what they say when you secretly grab that piece of chocolate cake when you’re on a diet?  “You’re only hurting yourself.”

Well, in this instance, the converse is true. Skirting the rules, hoping you don’t get caught potentially hurts everyone. And not just with the heightened possibility of spread, but also with the likelihood that we and our economy will have to live under these strident rules for just that much longer.  Simply put, please don’t skirt the rules.

Now, please do not get me wrong. By far and away, most businesses are fully compliant. Most businesses are leading the way in setting an example to our community and their employees on how to be fully responsible to this community crisis. I cannot thank you enough and I cannot wait to celebrate and recognize you all once we get this crisis behind us.

And, even more, many businesses are actually going the extra mile during this crisis and finding a way to give back. Your stories are inspiring and provide the best evidence yet as to why the business community is the most trusted sector in our Country.

Yet these next few weeks are critical and we all have to double-down. We ALL have to embrace the current reality. We ALL have to put health and safety first. We ALL have to model responsible behavior in our personal and business lives. And we ALL need to wash our hands, maintain a six-foot distance and wear a mask when in the public.

For that is the only way we will ALL get out of the crisis in a timeframe that minimizes both human and economic devastation.

Please do your part and fully own the faith and trust that our community places on the business community. Together, we will get through this.

Rest assured, the Chamber is here to help with that journey. Please visit our website to follow all the latest developments, listen to recent webinars and/or check-out our upcoming programming. Or, just send us a reply email to let us know how we can help.

With Resolve –

Tom Baldrige, President & CEO of the Lancaster Chamber

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