Aside from the incredible toll it has taken on families, frontline workers and vulnerable populations, it’s no secret that COVID-19 completely upended the hospitality industry in 2020.
The economic toll – restaurants empty or shuttered, hotel workers furloughed, bottom lines and markets reaching new lows – along with the physical and emotional impact, will be felt for years, if not decades. This has caused some business leaders to re-evaluate how they look at their business, as well as each other. Rather than competing with each other, we are now seeing business owners coming together in formal and informal ways, developing networks and supporting each other in identifying creative solutions to weather the pandemic.
When the pandemic accelerated in early 2020, a few peers and I began wondering what we could do for our home, Seattle. This conversation evolved into a Facebook group for small business owners – heavily weighted towards businesses in the hospitality industry – that grew to have thousands of members who gathered to discuss and share resources and inspiration each day.