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Letter: Staying at home is good, but economic sheltering in place could lead to missed opportunities

One of the great and missed opportunities of a lifetime was the devastation caused by the Great Depression. The depression was not caused by people having fewer needs and wants than before. The depression actually increased the needs and wants of almost everyone.

Yet, paralyzed by fear, most people just hoped just to survive it. And, while they were “sheltering in place,” the Great Depression was a reordering of the economic landscape.

Wherever people have needs and wants, there are opportunities. And satisfying the needs and wants of others is the engine of commerce.

Sadly, many businesses will not emerge from this pandemic. These businesses will be among the uncounted deaths of this crisis. But we should recognize that wherever there is death and destruction, there is also growth and opportunity.

Take courage, and start to prepare for the opportunities that will most certainly be available in the new economy. Sitting on your hands while you shelter in place will not help you contribute to solving the needs and wants of others. Now is the time to act. Look around and see what has changed. Look around to see what needs you can fill.

A few examples of opportunity for the entrepreneur:

The in-class education model has changed. Universities are now more open to an online model. Can you be a part of that?

Manufacturing of every kind may be returning to the United States. Can you be a part of this?

Will the public still be willing to gather in large crowds at sporting events or other events? How will you solve that problem?

Times of turmoil and uncertainty are the times for action, rather than economic “shelter in place.” Tomorrow’s economy is being reshuffled right now. You can and should be a part of it.

Ralph Little

Salt Lake City