The 2020 election is almost upon us. Some voters have already submitted their choices through early voting and many more will do so on November 3rd. The voices of America will be heard in both national and local elections and the changes enacted by those choices will impact small and large businesses well beyond 2021. Despite all the speeches given and video ads running on every conceivable platform, it could be the unknown that influences voters the most. Both Democratic and Republican candidates have been vague on the fine details of their policies and there is always the looming uncertainty of COVID-19.

Shopping with a Mask

The business world always waits with bated breath to find out what possible changes a new administration will bring and the stock market fluctuates in a tightly contested race. These events are challenging in a normal election cycle and it seems overwhelming when factored into the COVID-19 pandemic. For every moment a business owner spends thinking about Donald Trump and Joe Biden’s stance on taxes they must also think about how to stabilize their revenue. The intertwining of these issues has muddied the waters when it comes to selecting the best candidate for your business. There were only two Presidential debates held this year and the substance of those events were lacking in answers for most Americans, including business owners. The candidate that takes the White House next year will need to boost the economy and coming up with a sound recovery plan for COVID-19.

One of the biggest questions remaining for businesses is the second round of PPP money. The first round was helpful for many, but it also came with some warts that a second round needs to avoid. It seems increasingly unlikely that a second round of stimulus will be approved before the election, but the future of the stimulus remains questionable even after November 3rd. Will minority and small businesses get a fair shot at applying for the loans? Will larger corporations that have existed for decades find some relief to bring back storied brands? The questions swirling around this second stimulus could fuel votes in either direction in an effort to extend a lifeline to American businesses.

The election is also coinciding with holiday shopping, the most crucial time of year for many companies. The holidays often mean larger tabs at restaurants and major crowds trying to take advantage of sales for retailers; and most businesses need the revenue bump more than ever. COVID-19 is still with us and winter could reduce the outdoor seating available in restaurants and long lines could deter brick-and-mortar shoppers. The way that companies manage these final months of the year will determine the White House’s objectives for 2021.

There is no doubt that 2020 has been a difficult year with new challenges surfacing constantly, but there has also been unparalleled resilience. Business owners across the spectrum have innovated and pivoted while enacting long term plans in a matter of months. For every bankruptcy filing there is a success story or innovation that is poised to become popular. The results of the election will bring changes for the better and worse, but the businesses in operation now are battle tested and can be ready for 2021.