Chamber Corner

Romeo Cruz ProfileSilver City-Grant County Chamber of Commerce Director Romeo Cruz will provide a weekly column to the Beat, featuring items and announcements of interest to the community.

It's Wednesday morning, November 4, 2020, the day after the General Election. You went to bed last night, not sure what the outcome of the Presidential Election was going to be, and this morning you're not really sure you even want to know. It's not that you don't want to know who won the election but, for the past several months, we have been getting bombarded with campaign chatter and rhetoric telling us that the world is going to fall apart if President Trump is re-elected or that a Biden presidency will mean doom for our country! My head is spinning after listening to all of the psycho-babble in the media and making sense of it all is impossible. I'm here to tell you what you need to do today now that the election is over in order to survive the next four years, no matter who is in the White House! Follow my advice and you will be ok.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the CARES Act Small Business Grant program that is currently underway in Grant County and across the State of New Mexico. For the last month and a half, we have been working to compile the required information necessary for small business owners to successfully apply for these grants. We have met with many, many, local business owners who have been interested in this funding which is designed to help their business during this time of COVID. If you haven't yet submitted an application for your business, rest assured, that there is still time to do so. Simply go to www.silvercity.org and follow the link to the CARES act application and submit your application via email. It's simple and it's easy.

We've been going through all of this for, what seems like, an eternity and thankfully the end is near. Frankly, I can't wait! Everywhere you turn people are discussing it and arguing about it. They yell at one another with righteous indignation claiming that their position is the prevailing opinion and they berate anyone who disagrees with them for their imbecilic misguidedness. If you ask me, the end can't come soon enough!

COVID took over our day-to-day like a rabid banshee with a hang nail. Our initial reaction was to, well… react! We shut down our businesses and learned new ways to be productive at work. In many ways we retooled our businesses, hunkered down with our families and pledged to "ride it out!" When it comes to COVID I think that we are only about to see a new wave of craziness now that our neighbor to the East, El Paso, Texas, made the national news with their 500 percent increase in one-day case reporting. But wait, this article is not about COVID! Today I want to talk about our General Election that is 2 weeks away from being "over!"

In case you haven't noticed small business owners have spent the better part of the past 7 months retooling their businesses. They've been learning how to do more with less and have been searching for creative ways to stay in business while focusing on maintaining a safe environment for their customers and employees. The current Public Health Order has been in effect, except for regular changes and updates along the way, since mid-March. I applaud all of our local small business owners for their hard work and diligence in overcoming the hardships they have faced by trying to keep a business running during a global pandemic.

Have you submitted your CARES act Small Business Continuity Application yet? That is a loaded question because I have seen every application so far and I haven't seen your name on an application yet. I know you're busy right now and you've got other things that you need to focus on but I've got to tell you that one of the smartest things you can do this year is to submit an application for this program which is currently under way.

Do you ever feel like you're that performer in the circus whose job is spinning plates? There are people walking past you on the circus midway while you're just there doing your thing. Most people are mildly amused with the task that you are performing, some people are pretending that you're not even there and yet others are totally thrilled with what you are doing! Although the third group of people are genuinely interested in your expertise at spinning plates and they look like they want to ask you a bunch of questions. You make eye contact with them and are just about to say, "HI!" in the most enthusiastic voice you can muster when their mother whisks them away saying, "c'mon son, we don't have time to talk to that guy today!" In true "plate spinner" fashion, you remain positive and silently proclaim, "That's okay… the next guy will have time to talk to me!"

I'm here today to challenge you! I'm hopeful that you will accept my challenge because it's an easy challenge, but it will require you to take swift, decisive, immediate action. I promise that I will not ask you to do anything that is immoral, illegal or fattening. Who's Game?

When I was a child growing up in Bayard, our neighbor was a wonderful woman that we all simply adored. My mother taught us to respect her and, out of that respect, we called her "Grandma Gabriela." Grandma was a petite woman with silvery hair and gold, wire-framed, glasses. She had very happy eyes and a pleasant smile. Grandma was always there for us, and we, in turn, were always there for her.

When do you think we will get back to normal? Is there such a thing as “normal” anymore? It is now September 2020 and, as we’ve moved closer to the end of the year, I have begun to resign myself to the notion that we need to accept a NEW normal.

One year ago, we took many things for granted and we managed our lives on auto-pilot. We went to restaurants with the anticipation of having a plethora of choices to select from the menu. We would, hopefully, run into a familiar face while eating lunch or walking into the restaurant. In the “good old days” we might even have to wait in line to get an open table because everybody else had the same idea of going out to eat. Oh, how I miss those days!

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