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Pivotal moments of time stand out in the memory of each American generation – Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy assassination, and of course, September 11, 2001. The terror attacks impacted our communities in many different ways, with many different facets standing out in our minds. From the perspective of a Chamber Chairwoman I sit here working from home on 9/11/2012 remembering how American business came to a grinding halt for more than a week, and the tremendous comeback we have made. In the wake of 9/11, many started over or rebuilt their business or career, leaving their job to build a new business that makes a significant contribution in this world. Entrepreneurship is at an all time high, and post-9/11 re-evaluation of priorities such as family and quality of life is a likely explanation.
September 11, 2001 made permanent changes to the small business landscape which affect us even today. Some effects were felt right away, for example disruption in financial markets and interruption in public transportation. Those immediate effects soon ebbed, but others remain. For example, the price of fuel was destined to go up, and thanks to Mideast tensions it has nearly tripled. That affects delivery and transportation costs for every business. Security at airports was forever changed, and the time it takes to travel via air lengthened. Roads were permanently closed, such as those near certain reservoirs. This resulted in new bike trails but also longer commutes for some. Our government became larger, more bureaucratic, and more wary, leading to substantially higher spending and a greater tax burden on American business. Federal agents now monitor our waterways, roads, rails, bridges and airports looking for potential threats, and businesses are urged, “if you see something, say something.” All of which lead to a more tense atmosphere in daily business operations. I know as a Realtor I am looking forward to the upswing about to happen in the near distant future. I am certain many other industries feel the same way.
The post-9/11 world is indeed changed, but our can-do spirit rose above it all, and America still is the envy of the rest of the world.
-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce
Business Strategist/ Associate Broker Keller Williams NY Realty