As we first started to wrap our arms around the magnitude and scope of the COVID-19 crisis, our management team huddled up internally (virtually) on a daily basis, spending countless hours strategizing and speculating on the best ways to navigate our employees and business through this trying time. The stress levels were high, and information seemed to change daily. There was so much fear and uncertainty associated with this newly encountered problem in front of us. This was something we had never even contemplated in our contingency planning. Decisions were made, reviewed, and revised to the best of our combined abilities, and we supported each other through the first weeks as the extent of the crisis revealed itself.
During this same period, we began to hear from our customers, suppliers and competitors through emails and calls. Logically, we knew this pandemic, by definition, was not an issue specific to our company. But still, our first instinct was to circle the wagons and use the internal resources we always relied on for our decision-making processes. The industry and community outreach changed that feeling of “onliness” instantly. The realization that all of us were facing similar challenges, struggles and decisions was one that not only allowed us to gather and share good information but also provided us with the much-needed community, camaraderie and support we all needed to proceed.
Industry groups have started to facilitate a broader dialogue on all topics related to surviving through and thriving beyond COVID-19. The open sharing of resources and strategies has calmed and strengthened the resolve of many worried business owners, including our own. It also has created a greater appreciation for the entire ecosystem that allows this industry to function and thrive.
We want to thank all of those within the industry that are proactively organizing groups, sharing resources and spreading a message of confidence and hope. We are fortunate to work in an industry that is so close-knit, and one that brings smiles, happiness and good memories to so many. The family entertainment sector will be needed more than ever as the dust settles and the “new normal” begins to set in. When that time comes, let us all endeavor to maintain that spirit of cooperation, goodwill and mutual success as we move forward together.
Jonathan Betti & Catherine Algra