I was walking down the street from my workplace to Grand Central Market to grab a coffee when suddenly I felt how sad Broadway Street was. Broadway is a major street in downtown Los Angeles, California. It runs from the eastern edge of downtown, near the Los Angeles River, to the city’s west side. It is one of the oldest streets in the city and was once the city’s main commercial thoroughfare.
It’s possible that the current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have affected the atmosphere of Broadway, leading to a decrease in foot traffic and overall activity. Many businesses along the street may have closed or reduced their hours of operation due to the pandemic, which can contribute to a less vibrant atmosphere. Additionally, the economic downturn caused by the pandemic may have led to job losses and financial struggles for many people, which can also contribute to a more somber mood.
I almost cried as I waited for the light to turn green to cross 4th and Broadway. A little further on the sidewalk, there was a homeless man sitting right in front of the Grand Central Market, begging for food, and a few people were in line to order their egg sandwiches. No one seemed happy.
Financial situations can have a major impact on people’s emotions and overall well-being. Moreover, I think financial stress can cause feelings of anxiety, worry, and depression, which can be further exacerbated by an economic downturn like the one caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Job losses and financial struggles can lead to uncertainty and insecurity about the future, which can have a significant impact on mental and emotional health. Additionally, financial difficulties can also lead to practical problems such as difficulty paying bills and maintaining housing, which can add to the stress and negative feelings. With the ongoing pandemic and the financial struggles of many people, it is not uncommon for some people to feel sadness, uncertainty, and insecurity about the future.
I was thinking about the ways I could be somehow useful to my community. Maybe I could:
- Volunteer my time or skills. Many organizations need volunteers to help with various tasks, such as providing meals, running errands, or providing counseling services.
- Support small businesses. Consider shopping at small, locally-owned businesses instead of large corporations.
- Help spread awareness. Share information about resources and assistance programs with friends, family, and community members who may be struggling.
- Be kind and compassionate. Showing kindness and understanding to those around you who may be going through a difficult time can make a big difference in their lives.
- Participate in community activities, such as cleaning up a park or organizing a community meal, that can bring people together and build a sense of community.
These activities are good but not good enough to overcome the current economic situation and financial difficulties we all face. The government should provide financial assistance to small businesses in the form of loans, grants, and tax breaks. Non-profit organizations should work hard to cover more small entities and support them financially or provide them with business improvement advisory services.
Small businesses also need to be proactive and take responsibility for their businesses in different ways such as:
- Take advantage of digital marketing strategies such as social media, email marketing, and search engine optimization to reach more customers.
- Form partnerships with other businesses or organizations to share resources and customers.
- Reduce their costs by implementing cost-saving measures such as reducing inventory, negotiating better deals with suppliers, and cutting back on unnecessary expenses.
- Diversify their products and services to adapt to changing market conditions and reach new customers.
- Develop new and innovative products or services to stay ahead of the competition.
- Learn to be flexible and adaptable to changing market conditions and customer needs.
- Always seek advice and counseling from experts in the field or from business development centers to help them navigate the current economic situation.