It is hard to believe that six weeks ago we were all living life as we previously knew it and making plans for the life we thought was ahead.
It has been an exhausting six weeks. It has been a frustrating and angering six weeks. It has been a scary and anxiety-inducing six weeks. It has been a life- and business-altering six weeks.
And yet, every day — over and over and over again — I have seen small-business owners around the world step up, persist and display the type of character that I am inspired by.
I saw an amazing quote last week. It reminded that character is not built during crisis, but that character is revealed during crisis. How true is that? I look around and I see people who have been revealed as power hungry and self-centered, but I have also seen people who are kind, generous and committed to the greater good. And so many small business owners fit into that category.
I have never been so proud of small-business owners. This is my thank you letter to you.
Dear Small-Business Owner,
I am so sorry for all that you are going through. I know that this is an incredibly hard time for you and your family, teams and community.
I am impressed by how little time you have spent complaining and how, instead, you have chosen to get into action.
I have been moved by how little I have seen you hoarding or trying to protect only yourself and how, instead, you have been freely giving whatever you have to others.
I am inspired by how you are responding to the situation we are in with creativity and innovation instead of fear.
I have cried real tears as I think about your life’s work flashing before your eyes and your resolve to pick up and keep going.
I am angry that you are not getting the financial support you deserve from the government, landlords and other people that should be supporting you right now. And I am constantly amazed at how many of you have taken those hits without missing more than a step and kept moving forward.
I am genuinely grateful that you are committed to finding ways to do what you do in very unusual circumstances so that I can still get the food, supplies and services that I need.
I am amazed by all of your efforts to not just keep going, but to help fellow business owners.
When I worry about the economy or when I wonder how this will all turn out, I look back at all of you. I see your courage, generosity, creativity, tenacity, adaptability, commitment and kindness, and I know we will be OK. Not because of governments or big companies, but because of you. Each and every one of you.
Thank you, small business.
Originally appeared at Entrepreneur.com