MEDIA: CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel (September 25, 2021)

Pleased to join the CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel for a third time in September, alongside Sherena Hussain, Dennis Mitchell, and John Northcott, talking vaccine passports, post-election priorities, and the tenuous circumstances of Chinese real estate conglomerate, Evergrande.  Our segment was bookended with coverage of the release of Canada’s Two Michaels from China, after Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou reached a deferred prosecution agreement in the US, resulting in extradition charges being dropped (a story that we covered on the Business Panel in December, 2018).

Some thoughts around our discussion:

COVID19 has brought significant challenges for businesses, especially those with limited resources.  Vaccine passports are another area where business leaders need to plan effectively for implementation, in order to ensure smooth operations.  In considering this issue, ensuring a safe workplace for staff and customers is nothing new, nor is the ability to determine, within reason, how a company will deliver its services.  In the case of customers, it is not uncommon in a civilized society to be required to prove identity or status in certain situations, such as entering an establishment where alcohol is served, renting a car, or traveling to another country.  A vaccine passport is analogous to these situations, as well as numerous others, and those who do not wish to utilize it have other options (stay home, order takeout food, shop online, etc.).  Business leaders also have an opportunity to consider the use of contracted security staff or, perhaps, technology solutions, when requesting vaccine passport information, and should not hesitate to seek professional advice for an objective viewpoint.  One area where everyone should be able to agree is the importance of putting the pandemic behind us; there is no benefit to giving COVID19 a home in our communities.

Related to this point, now that the Federal election is over, Job #1 should be making the pandemic history.  Key steps include reviewing and extending financial programs where appropriate, as well as taking the necessary steps to support vulnerable areas, such as healthcare and essential pandemic related sources of supply (and building capacity within Canada).  Going forward, increased support for commercialization of Canada’s innovation and technology economy should be a priority, to build companies of scale that are well positioned to operate globally.  Of note, commercialization efforts should be focused primarily on “building a business”, including access to sufficient growth capital.

And, finally, as the world watches China’s Evergrande struggle to meet its financial obligations, it is a good time to remember that “big business” is not without challenges.  Small businesses often have the view that “growth” and “sales” will solve all of their problems, but this isn’t the case.  Large (or larger) companies face numerous challenges, many of which are the same types of problems that are experienced by small business, but played out on a larger scale.  Keep in mind that the more that a company has, the more that is at stake, which can represent significant risk.  When smaller companies make it a habit to put the necessary foundational systems, policies, and procedures in place, they have the beginnings of what is needed to support future growth and sustainability.

Thank you for watching, on what was a very busy news morning; see you again soon!

 

MEDIA: CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel (September 11, 2021)

Fortunate to have the opportunity to remember the victims of the September 11th terror attacks on air, alongside Elmer Kim and John Northcott.  On the 20th anniversary of the attacks that changed the world in many ways, this human tragedy is also a business story.  I recall the details of that day so clearly, and one of the things that I thought about was the many people who were simply going about their day to earn a living: the morning commute, getting a coffee, moments at their desk, greeting a colleague in the hallway, boardroom meetings “first thing”.  Others were travelling for work in the skies above; too many would not reach their destination.  As a career business person, I have done all of these things, often without a second thought.  How tragic it is that thousands of people would have these “normalcies” be the last moment of their lives.

September 11th gives me the feeling every year that the carefree days of Summer are gone in an instant, a door that slams shut with profound sadness.  We remember the victims today and every year on this day.

We also discussed the business news of the week, including Canadian economic developments and the global semiconductor chip shortage.

It is always positive to see the economy add jobs and beat expectations, however, given the realities of COVID19, it is difficult to know if this is merely a point on the curve or part of an overall growth trend.  The pandemic, unfortunately, continues to be very much a part of our communities and business environment, and as the Fall weather cools, the importance of taking recommended steps to combat COVID19 should not be lost.  Our economy is depending on Canadians to do the right things, to avoid cycling back to the days of business closures and other setbacks, as nobody wins when this happens.  Businesses are not measured by peaks and valleys, but rather, by the ability to survive over the long term; this is extremely difficult to achieve when the surrounding community is not healthy.

Related to this point, although it might sound like an obvious statement that companies need products and services to sell in order to be financially viable, the ability to do so in our current world is anything but a given.  Many companies are unable to get the materials that they need in order to manufacture products, with a prominent example being the semiconductor chip shortage,  This situation is multifaceted, as it is impacted by the high demand for technology, as well as geo-political and logistical factors.  Although not every situation can be resolved in the short term, business leaders need to bring creative solutions, as well as procurement options and strategies to manage customer expectations.  Having said that, the reality is that many consumers will simply have to wait until the shortage dissipates and expect to see higher prices, while businesses look for other options to resolve their own inevitable financial challenges.

Thank you for watching.  Today is a good day to do something to help others; we can all make a difference.

MEDIA: CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel (September, 2021)

It’s the Federal Election edition of the CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel, talking all things business, alongside Jeanhy Shim, Rubina Ahmed-Haq, and Hillary Johnstone (personal finance, business, and the roof over your head, we had it all!).

With so many topics in play, we focused our discussion in the areas of the economy, jobs, and affordability.  Here are a few comments about the issues facing Canadians, businesses, and the days ahead.

It’s hard to imagine a strong economy without COVID19 being well under control, at a minimum.  A healthy society is an important foundation for a healthy economy, and it is a reasonable concern that Canada will not have the ability to truly move ahead until the days of the pandemic are in the rear view mirror, making this effort Job #1.  In the absence of doing so, communities face the risk of an ongoing cycle of relaxing measures and opening businesses, only to have to reverse course a short time later.  This is very difficult not only for Canadians, but also for business leaders who are trying to reach a point of some stability within their company.  Those who have been in business understand that “normal” times are challenging enough; the uncertainty and additional measures associated with COVID19 have left many companies in a precarious position, with others having closed up shop altogether (evident by driving around and noting all of the vacant storefronts).

This situation directly relates to jobs, as companies only need staff members when there is sufficient demand from the marketplace (customers) and they are able to operate (regulatory).  The third component of this equation is supply, in that companies need to be able to procure the necessary materials to deliver products and services.  Times of COVID19 have resulted in a global supply chain glut, making many products and manufacturing inputs significantly delayed or unavailable; the semiconductor chip shortage is one example.

There is also a shift occurring in the labour market as a whole, as people consider where work is available, as well as the type of role that they want to pursue.  Factors such as the increase in remote/flexible work environments, as well as the stress associated with front line sectors, such as healthcare, have led to shortages and hiring challenges; expect demand for education and training to increase in the coming months, as Canadians re-think their careers.  In the case if remote workers, this has resulted in some interesting developments in the housing market, as location is no longer reliant on the daily commute.

From a consumer perspective, the cost of so many things continues to rise, including food, household items, and housing.  While wage growth has not kept pace even in normal times, the gap between the super-wealthy and lower to mid-level workers has continued to increase, to a point of ridiculousness, in some cases.  The intent, obviously, should not be to have all people earning the same amount of money, but rather, to manage wage levels carefully (at the business level) and ensure that the tax system is fair (at the government level).  There have been too many situations of wealthy corporations and people paying little to no tax, while lesser earners pay their fair share.  Canadians also have good reason to question why some at the top of corporations received large bonuses, while being slow to increase employee wages and/or taking COVID19 business financial support at the same time.

This is the backdrop of the Federal Election, and as a business person, I first look for good ideas, with the source or party being of lesser relevance.  It is less than ideal to see party platforms that bring a “piecemeal” approach to policy, as people do not live their lives in this manner, nor do businesses operate this way.  This approach also raises the question if anything truly “gets fixed”, as opposed to utilizing one short term approach after another.  There also tends to be a disconnect between policy and implementation, with the latter being much more challenging than many in the political realm appreciate.  Experienced business leaders understand the importance of solutions that can be readily implemented and resolve problems, an important part of the foundation of a sustainable company going forward.

Thank you for watching, and remember that it’s important to vote to ensure that our voices are heard.  Ballots can be cast by mail this time, just apply to do so by September 14, 2021.

Celebrating 4 Years on the CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel (August, 2021)

Gratefully celebrating four years of regular appearances on the CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel, broadcast nationally and streaming globally!  Our panel reviews the week in business every Saturday morning after the 10 AM news (Eastern Time), discussing a wide range of topics, including breaking news, on the fly.  Here’s just a sample of topics upon which I’ve provided commentary over the past four years:

COVID-19 has resulted in those in the media continuing to report from their home studios, and I have not been in studio since March, 2020.  In the meantime, CBC News Network has been streaming globally, bringing our work to a new and broader range of viewers.

The collage photo for this post includes a throwback to some in studio times, while we all continue to do our best to stay safe and informed (as the “hair and makeup” room takes on a remote life of its own).  Sincere thanks to everyone at CBC News Network and our audience for watching; I am grateful to do my part in bringing the news to you!

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MEDIA: CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel (August, 2021)

Call it the Olympic edition of the CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel, alongside Elmer Kim and Chris Glover.

As the Tokyo, 2020 games come to a close, here’s a quick take of our topics:

  • Canada’s July Jobs Report.  Although Canada added 94,000 jobs in July, this fell short of expectations.  What path is our country currently on?
  • Canada’s Big Trade SurplusJune saw a hefty $3.2 billion trade surplus, the most significant since 2008.  What is behind this number and is it as simple as rising oil exports?
  • Canada About to Open its Border to the US.  As the border re-opening nears, there is a mix of interest and concern.  What might the implications be?

My commentary on the Weekend Business Panel over the past year has been consistent in expecting the COVID19 recovery to take time, with progress being anything but a straight line.  Although economic forecasts might consider jobs at a highlevel, it is important to remember that employment actually occurs on the front lines of business.  Companies only need people if they have goods and services to sell and customers that are willing and able to buy.  COVID19 has caused a host of disruptions, including at the supply chain, regulatory, financial, and operating levels.  It is also likely that employees who have choices (often those with an abundance of skill and experience) are reconsidering how they will work going forward.  Although applicability can vary by business type, many companies still have work to do in order to retain their best staff members, or risk losing them to employers with more flexible and organized work arrangements.  Expect this type of movement in the labour force to continue.

Although oil and energy exports contributed to Canada’s trade surplus in June, so did a decline in imports, something that can have a ripple impact.  When companies are not operating, they don’t need a lot of things; the same is true for consumers who have been inactive in areas such as office work, travel, events, kids’ sports, and so on.  Couple this with the much reported global logistical glut and plenty of questions arise about what the coming months will look like, in terms of areas such as business growth and consumer spending.

And, finally, although sectors such as tourism and events have been hard hit by the pandemic, it is a fair question as to how much benefit Canada’s border re-opening to some vaccinated Americans will bring.  With most of the Summer travel season in the rearview mirror, COVID variants circulating in the US, and some provinces doing away with mask and other safety mandates, it is understandable why many people are concerned.  It is also important to remember that vaccines are not yet available to children under the age of 12 years and their protection is critical.  As a business advisor, I can appreciate the significant experience and professional credentials that are required in order to fulfill my role.  Conversely, when those in the science and medical fields who specialize in pandemics and related areas express concern, it is wise to listen to their advice.  It will be interesting to see what the coming weeks and months will bring (hopefully, safety will prevail).

As always, thanks for watching, and see you again soon, CBC!

 

MEDIA: CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel (July, 2021)

Summer begins with a busy news week on the CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel, alongside Jennifer Hall and Mark Warner.  Here’s an overview of the topics we discussed:

As we weather the Summer heat, watch wildfires, and observe changing ocean levels, the topic of climate has become a daily consideration.  Advancing the target for all light-duty vehicles sold in Canada to be electric, from 2040 to 2035, raises issues beyond that of consumers.  Electric vehicles are part of a larger infrastructure, a system that includes manufacturing, charging, and maintenance, as well as the need to create a sustainable industry.  Integral to this is the ability to design vehicles that meet consumer needs well into the future; this includes all of the necessary parts, inputs, and expertise to make planning a reality.  Anyone who has an implementation background will recognize that this is not easy and requires a significant amount of effort and ability in order to achieve.  In the case of electric vehicles, the question isn’t “should we?”, but rather, “how?”.  This is a big, ongoing question that needs to be resolved in a robust and comprehensive manner.

As we greet Summer, 2021, everyone is understandably tired of living in a world of COVID19; but, here we are.  Vaccination has certainly helped to set the stage for communities opening up and returning to some form of normal, but the reality is, we are not there yet.  At the time of this writing, Canadian vaccination levels are approximately 70% (one dose) and 30% (two doses), raising the question: where is everyone?  In the US, although the double dose rate is higher (approximately 47%), it is concerning that only approximately 55% of Americans have received a single dose of a COVID19 vaccine.  It has been widely reported in the US that science and medical professionals are concerned about the percentage of Americans that will be vaccinated at all, given the relatively high degree of those who are either hesitant or resistant, making the question of what the “ceiling” could be of relevance.  Given that Canadians have worked hard to combat COVID19, for the most part, any considerations around opening the border should ensure that vaccination records of entrants can be reliably tracked; the health of our communities and economy are dependent on these types of reasonable safeguards.

And, finally, as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos moves to the Executive Chair role and other ventures, including Space exploration through Blue Origin, living in times of COVID19 is a reminder of the value and importance of online shopping and logistics.  In contrast to the delivery trucks of days gone by, the use of technology to connect with consumers is an important difference, although there is still work to do in perfecting the model.  An important component is the role of workers in this new economy, many of which lack employment security and pursue various jobs to make ends meet.  There has always been an understandable income gap between business leaders and staff members, however, the times we are living in have pushed this to extremes, with the impacts being increasingly in full view.  Further, it is disappointing that diversity was not brought to the CEO role going forward; a missed opportunity to send an impactful message to both customers and staff members.  We are at the point where important questions should be asked about the world that we want to live in, with the experience of COVID19, perhaps, contributing to the prominence of this consideration.

Thank you for watching, and see you again soon, CBC!

MEDIA: CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel (May, 2021)

Lots to talk about on the May Day version of the CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel, alongside Mark Warner and John Northcott; here’s an overview of our chat:

  • The Sick Leave Debate, as the pandemic has been part of our lives for over a year, the federal and provincial governments are still wrestling with the issue of sick leave.  Where does this leave the workforce?
  • Rising Capital Gains Tax in the US, as the Biden Administration looks for ways to pay for its initiatives, could a proposed significant capital gains tax increase impact Canadian companies?
  • LL Bean Ventures into the Canadian Outdoors, with plans to open additional stores, what might be behind this decision?

It’s disappointing that the issue of sick leave is so far from resolution, 14 months into the pandemic.  This issue should be considered in the context of the range of work structures within the modern Canadian economy, ranging from a relatively small segment that have comprehensive benefits coverage (such as the public sector), to those in the entrepreneur or contract worker segment, who have little to no coverage and are far from job security.  Bottom line: COVID19 is a contagious disease that can only be stopped with the cooperation of everyone involved, and when people are sick, they should not be going to work.  Economic realities are something that need to be fully appreciated, in that many people simply cannot afford to opt out of the work day without compensation; this is why a well designed sick leave program is so important, especially, in these challenging times.  Everyone needs to get together on this issue in order to arrive at a feasible solution, including workers, employers, provincial, and federal governments.

Those who are familiar with the capital markets pertaining to startup and early stage companies in Canada will recognize that it is a challenge to find funding to launch and grow a business.  Although Canada has made strides in the volume of available capital, it has historically been behind the levels of other countries.  It is important to recognize that capital at the early stages carries a higher level of risk, but is integral to creating jobs, economic growth, and innovation in Canada.  This is why the potential for a significant increase in US capital gains tax rate is so concerning, in that it could impact the level of investment activity, including in Canadian companies.  It is no secret that there is inequity in the tax system and that ultra-high net worth individuals likely do not pay their fair share, relatively speaking (a complex issue to be resolved). As this proposed capital gains tax increase is a recent development, it will be important to monitor how this situation develops.

And, finally, US retailer LL Bean has proven to be popular in Canada, in a year when being an outsider was on the menu for many.  Plans to open an additional four stores runs against so many of the online retail stories we have discussed, although LL Bean has been well established in this area and catalogue sales for years (the catalogue still comes to my mailbox, by the way).  Being outside is, perhaps, one of the few ways we have to get together in times of COVID19, and it will be interesting to see if this trend continues into the future.  In the meantime, LL Bean footwear has been a favourite of mine for years; I wear them every day.  Here’s a couple of styles from my collection, including the classic Bean Boot and an ankle version in a “short run” cherry red colour (similar to a limited edition, where products are featured in different colours in small quantity).  I also have a couple of other pairs that are too dusty to be photographed at the moment!

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Thanks for watching, and see you again soon.  In the meantime, Spring is here, get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine!

MEDIA: CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel (April, 2021)

Always grateful to get to “talk on TV”; this time, alongside Mark Warner and John Northcott for the CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel.  In a very busy news week, here’s an overview of the topics we discussed (along a planes, trains, and automobiles theme):

 

The Air Canada/Air Transat potential merger has been in the works for some time, well in advance of the days of COVID19.  With European regulators expressing competition concerns that the parties were unable to address, the deal was called off late this week, leaving Air Canada and Air Transat to consider their own business issues in what is still very much a COVID19 world.  In Canada, the limited number of air travel providers and relative lack of competitiveness have been longstanding concerns for consumers, particularly on some routes.  It will be interesting to see how Air Transat, in particular, moves forward, perhaps, creating an opportunity to bring some new parties into the industry.  Related to this point, although vaccines are now very much a part of the recovery story, it is difficult to determine when the travel industry will begin to see some meaningful gains and stability.

Those who work in the financial services area understand the challenges of the regulatory aspect of the industry, albeit necessary, in terms of standards, risk management, and consumer protection.  Efforts to create a national capital markets regulator in Canada have long been discussed, and with the latest initiative announcing an effective halt, it is difficult to know if and when this objective will be achieved.  Failure to have a national regulator not only leaves Canada out of step with the rest of the G7 countries, it keeps what is already a challenging area for funds and companies fragmented for the foreseeable future.

With a global pandemic that has left many companies decimated and people out of work, President Biden’s announcement of “a once-in-a-generation investment in America, unlike anything we’ve seen or done since we built the interstate highway system and the space race decades ago” could be just what is needed.  Targeted at a broad range of infrastructure projects, as well as green energy, internet, and housing, the plan could create millions of jobs, use an abundance of supplies, and bring current a number of areas that tend to get delayed, in light of funding shortfalls and other priorities.  Despite Buy America provisions, large countries that embark on large projects tend to need more than they alone can produce, something that represents an opportunity for Canada.  In the meantime, there are a number of steps that need to evolve, including review and passage of the legislation through Congress; not a given, in times of narrow Democrat majorities.

And, finally, Volkswagen learned the hard way that April Fool’s jokes aren’t always funny, with a less than ideal execution of its announcement to change the name of its American business unit to Voltswagen.  The bigger miss is the Voltswagen marketing campaign that could have been; I can see it all in my head.

Thanks for watching and see you again soon, CBC!

MEDIA: CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel (February, 2021)

Always great to join the CBC News Network Weekend Business Panel to discuss “the week that was”, alongside Mark Warner and John Northcott.


Here’s an overview of the topics we discussed.

As Canada is in the midst of its coldest months and a number of provinces have put enhanced COVID19 restrictions in place, is it really that surprising that a significant number of jobs continue to be lost?  With job losses in January reaching 213,000, industries that have been impacted include hospitality, retail, tourism, and other services.  Although it is a reasonable expectation that the recovery from COVID19 will not be a straight line, what also comes to mind is how many companies might have simply closed up shop after Christmas or at the end of 2020, resulting in permanent job losses.  This situation relates to a range of factors, including the abundance of small businesses that have delayed the succession process, companies that are no longer competitive, and those who have simply had enough, in terms of trying to operate in a COVID19 world.  Keep in mind, these will be permanent job losses, and consider this important question: what does it take to “grow” a job?  The simple answer is a lot of time, effort, and money; ask anyone who has built a business from scratch, starting with their own job.

Anyone who has been following the GameStop trading saga should keep some basic lessons in mind: speculative trading is risky and can result in significant losses, as was seen this week.  For those who only see the upside, remember that for many investors, it is something that occurs only in theory, as timing the market is next to impossible (don’t confuse hindsight with real time).  Perhaps, more importantly, is the need for regulators to catch up to scenarios where social media plays such a significant role, given that financial services is such a highly regulated industry (ask anyone who has ever worked in it, as the penalties can be significant).

Developing content is something that takes far more time, effort, and expertise than most would appreciate (for example, ever written a book?), and one of the biggest venues is the credible news media.  Australia plans to take a bold step in requiring companies such as Google and Facebook to pay local media companies for content, given the significant imbalance between these two sectors.  While these companies have claimed this arrangement is unworkable, the unimpacted Microsoft has indicated support for the plan, as well as a willingness to step up its Bing search capability, in the event that Google follows through with a reduced presence in the area.  A bit of the clash of the titans, perhaps, but it will be interesting to see where other countries go with this train of thought.

And, finally, as Jeff Bezos plans to step down from the CEO role, it is disappointing to see Amazon miss an opportunity to bring diversity to this position, particularly from a gender perspective.  The vast majority of large tech companies are led by men, representing significant wealth at both a corporate and leadership level.  There are qualified women to lead companies, including at a CEO and Board Chair level, and in 2021, we should not be having this same conversation over and over again, in terms of how underrepresented female leadership is.  Customers and employees are watching, and a lack of diversity is noticed more than many would expect; obvious oversights have long memories.

Thank you for watching, and see you again soon, CBC!

 

When Hindsight is a Different Kind of 2020

My Dad used to say that “hindsight is 20/20” and he wasn’t wrong.  Sometimes, it was said in the context of the ease of Monday morning quarterbacking; other times, it was more about the reality of knowing something now that wasn’t known then.  At its core, it’s a reminder that we can only do the best that we can when facing a situation, something that isn’t always easy.  But, yet, in the automated, analytical, information-overload world that we live in, we are often left to wonder how we didn’t see something that was right in front of us all along.

As we begin a new year, the past 12 months can represent a time for reflection, as we contemplate the way forward.  This year, it has been particularly difficult to do so.  What are some of the things that we should have known?

That loss impacts everyone, and it is tragic.

That our wellness influences everything, including our ability to live, work, travel, and generate economic wealth.  When we are not well, we, and those around us, suffer.

That bias exists; be it gender, race, ethnicity, beliefs, or something else.  It is unfair, unacceptable, and it hurts.

That science understands our world in ways that many of us cannot pretend to comprehend, but is integral to our survival.

That a pandemic, fueled by the tiniest of “bugs”, can stop the entire world in its tracks, with devastating result.

That truth matters greatly and is powerful, while fear and dishonesty are harmful and divisive.

That a team is only as good as its weakest link, and when people are not onside, everyone feels the result.

That an act of kindness, however small, can turn a person’s day around, and it is contagious, in a good way.

That it takes all kinds of people, roles, and jobs to make the world go round; all are of value, and who the real “heroes” are can be surprising.

That leadership and independent thinking require courage, but represent the right path, in the end.  Following without conscience leads to undesirable places.

That something that happens on the other side of the world can turn companies upside-down and take away their future, while well prepared businesses have the best opportunity to withstand the unexpected.  The same is true for people, families, and governments.

That, while we can be fearless and “run with the big dogs”, there are still some who will try and make us feel small.  That’s on them.

That hate exists, even after all of these years of living together on a planet that we all call Home, despite having the power to change it.

That the air we breathe, water we drink, and sunlight that warms us are miracles that sustain life and require our care in return. The “check engine” light is flashing.

That the massive gap between wealth and poverty does not bring humanity together.

That people are social creatures, and living at a distance from one another is really, really difficult, especially for some.  We can be lonely in a world that is more connected and isolated than ever, all at the same time.

That mental health impacts everyone, and all that a person has (or doesn’t have) does not change this.

The fact is, the year 2020 reminded us of lessons that we already knew.  Perhaps, the world was so busy living life that many of these realities had been forgotten, until 2020 came along and changed everything.

On this Bell Let’s Talk Day, let’s remember the importance of mental health, especially in the midst of what have been very difficult times.  Realize that, although mental health touches us all, it can do so in different ways.  People who might be regarded as “better off” or less impacted by COVID19 can be confronted with stress and anxiety just as much as someone who works on the front lines.  Those who have a job can be just as emotionally challenged as someone who has been out of work and is receiving financial support, albeit in different ways.  The important thing is to recognize this reality and do what we can to help one another.

Although the year 2020 might be in the rearview mirror, we should remember the lessons of these past 12 months.  We are reminded that hindsight is, indeed, 20/20, but perhaps, we needed the year 2020 to truly understand the meaning of these words.

If you need help, please call 911 or access resources here.  Remember, you are not alone.