I am someone who normally finds writing to come relatively easy, but these are not normal times. I never imagined that the most challenging task as president of the GHBA would be writing this monthly president’s column.
I thought I’d be writing about the value of GHBA membership, legislative/government affairs, national building trends, etc. COVID-19 has come to dominate our lives and livelihoods, not to mention the news, conversations, and seemingly every aspect of life.
For the last few weeks, we have learned about the options for us as business owners, workers, contractors, etc. The information is both overwhelming and confusing. It seems few have a real, clear understanding of the programs. Our email inboxes are flooded with unsolicited emails on the subject; fortunately, the NAHB, TAB and GHBA are sources we can trust as reliable. Our CPAs, banks and financial advisors are also reliable sources to guide us through the process. One can of course go on the federal government’s website, but that tends to leave me shaking my head and saying, “WHAT?”
Whether you are a large company or a sole proprietor, these are challenging times. Sacrifices are bound to be made by all. Some of the programs offered through the federal government can help to lessen the sacrifices, although we will all likely have to exercise a bit of belt-tightening.
Just this past week, Governor Abbott along with governors of several other states began discussing a phased-in return to normalcy. It will, and should be, gradual with close attention paid to the rates of new cases to avoid another uptick in the spread of the virus. We must continue to be vigilant and cautious to protect ourselves and our loved ones not only from a health perspective, but sadly there are those out there who are looking for an opportunity to take advantage of the situation.
I think there is reason for cautious optimism. As we inch our way back into normal(ish) times, the things we enjoy doing will be once again a part of our lives, however gradual it may be. People will not only shop in less restrictive conditions or sit down for dinner in a restaurant, they will resume their searches for a new home that was put off by the pandemic. They will be more accepting of having remodeling crews in their homes. In general people will have fewer fears. Laid off or furloughed workers will begin returning to work. It won’t happen overnight; it will take time but it will happen.
In closing, I’m hoping that soon my columns will return to the subjects I anticipated just a few short months ago. Stay safe, healthy and strong!