You don’t need me to pontificate about how big of a disaster 2020 has been! I certainly don’t need to recount all the events that will make 2020 be one of the more memorable years in all of history.

Interesting perspective this morning when the radio announcers were asking for listeners to call in and share what positives have come from this year. It’s similar to a friend who challenged his family at Thanksgiving to share one thing they were thankful for that is new this year due to the pandemic. There HAVE been some positives. In fact, Marc Candella of Ladders suggests Humankind had its greatest year ever in 2020.

While I’m not ready to declare it the greatest year ever, if we indeed think about it, 2020 was a good year for small business. Hang with me! I get it! Sales have sucked with a capital suck! But, reflecting back, 2020 has been good for small business in five ways.

Togetherness or Partnerships – there’s more chatter in Facebook Groups, more ideas being shared in virtual meetings and webinars, and many have found success collaborating on promotions and services. We’re working together as districts again. We’re working with our neighbors instead of in silos.

New Skills – admittedly we’ve lost clients due to the shutdowns. Owners can’t afford all the services they’ve utilized. It has forced some of them to learn new things. How do you boost a Facebook post? Run ads… Create and send email campaigns… Make videos… 2020 has forced small business owners to learn new skills.

More Efficient – staff cutbacks have forced owners to become more efficient. How do we provide quality service with a third or half of our staff? Others have used downtime to review practices and become better with to-go order or online retail practices.

Spotlight on Small Business – Forget Small Business Saturday. It’s been Small Business 2020! Posts encouraging neighbors to #ShopSmall have been shared like no others this year. We’ve been reminded of the many boutiques, art shops, restaurants, and services offered in our communities and we’ve rallied around them with “Takeout Tuesdays.” We’ve shared and retweeted retail promotions. And bought more gift certificates than we’ll be able to use. Small is the new black.

Perspective – I’m grateful for the announcers this morning encouraging us to reflect on positives this year. Peers and networking groups have often stopped and said “Count your blessings.” Some have seen this year as an opportunity – opportunity to partner, develop new skills, enhance business practices, and become more efficient. And above all, we were reminded of the valuable time with family. 2020 forced us to be at work less and be with family more.

2020 was indeed a good year for small business! You can probably add more to this list! I hope you do. I’m going to stop writing and go spend time with my family.

Thanks 2020 (and thanks for reading!)