IAM1616 – Special Episode: COVID-19’s Impact on Small Business

Special Podcast Episode with Gresh

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”: This was an unexpected episode but talks about the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and organizations and is still being felt to this day. There have been huge shifts and changes.

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Previous Episode:


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Gresham Harkless Teaser 0:00

I always want to hopefully try to showcase during this podcast is, the really phenomenal stories of entrepreneurs and business owners doing really great things. But I think that as with business as in life there are so many kinds of ups and downs and things that happen, things that can be catastrophic that happen within our businesses and within our lives, there could be some really phenomenal glorious times as well too but I hope this podcast is a conduit by which you can hear from those different stories of these entrepreneurs and business owners.

Intro 0:32

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long long long interview? If so you've come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 1:02

Hello, hello, hello this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast, and this is a little bit of a different episode. I usually try to do special episodes and you will hear a special episode come up in a few episodes but with that being said I had a little bit of a change, obviously to everybody who's probably listening to this, depending on when you're listening to this I'm actually recording this in the second or third week of March and when it'll go live or probably a little bit later right now in March. But I actually had a guest on my show who was in the travel industry and because of the COVID-19, a lot of things have changed for a lot of Industries and for a lot of businesses. But I think especially you'll find one of the businesses or Industries hardest hit has been the travel industry. So I actually had Rob on my podcast, a really great episode and he has a lot of trip hacks for DC. So anybody traveling to DC, especially with the chair of lots of time of the year and people coming getting the opportunity to hear from him from his expertise and all the people that you know work with him as well too ,just exactly what you would want to know about find, and see when you travel to DC, but because of the COVID virus there's been a lot of changes in business for most entrepreneurs and business owners and definitely for people in the travel industry. You find it again in the food and beverage and there's a lot of different Industries and there should be a roundup that's going live on CEO Blog Nation to hear from some business owners and entrepreneurs exactly how they've been affected by that but with that being said.

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Gresham Harkless 2:43

I wanted to really just take some time just to I don't know explore or talk about or just say how important it is to first of all stay safe to stay healthy, and into secondarily of course you know we as entrepreneurs and business owners especially if you're a small to the medium-sized business owner, we will probably be impacted tremendously because of this virus and the impact of those viruses. I'm a huge sports fan so I definitely hear it. We hear about basketball obviously and football and baseball and all the different sports have been impacted in some form, shape or fashion. But, I think what we'll start to see unfortunately is kind of like that trickle-down effect and how that impact happens to certain people and Rob actually reached out to me as we usually send out reminders as your podcast gets closer and closer to publishing and he reached out and asked if we can potentially push it back to later on in the day than simply by the end of March his year-to-date revenues will be down about 60. And by the end of March about 90 percent, well actually 60 by the end of March and then 90 by the end of April. So that's a huge hit and I think that one of the reasons I asked Rob if it was okay if I could mention him during this episode was because I did want to touch on the the virus itself and the impact that it can have for small businesses. I think so many times we forget and don't hear about those stories of entrepreneurs and business owners during times like these or during natural disasters or even during the economic crisis and in 2008 and the impact that it has on these businesses and basically his two busiest months were completely wiped out and he started to suspend operations obviously just because of the state of the the COVID-19 virus and just the impact that it's had. I think it's just so important that as I'm extremely blessed to get the opportunity to interview so many entrepreneurs and business owners, one of the things that I always want to hopefully try to showcase during this podcast is you know the really phenomenal stories of entrepreneurs and business owners doing really great things. But I think that as with business as in life there are so many ups and downs and things that happen, things that can be catastrophic that happen within our businesses and within our lives, there could be some really phenomenal glorious times as well too. I hope this podcast is a conduit by which you can hear  from those different stories of these entrepreneurs and business owners. I wanted to take out of that CEO story aspect really just to focus on that and to focus on obviously we have great and  phenomenal moments in this entrepreneurial Journey. I think there's also some really hard-hitting things that happen to us and I think as we hear we you know we think about being safe and taking care of our loved ones and making sure our children or our parents, our grandparents are safe that we also understand that there's been some really huge impact to entrepreneurs and business owners that have completely changed not just their years, not just their month but their lives. I think that we shouldn't lose sight of that in addition to all the other things that are happening and as his decimation has happened to you know so many people and so many businesses and created that kind of domino effect so.

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Gresham Harkless 6:39

Again it's definitely a different type of episode what I will also have in the show notes is a roundup from other entrepreneurs and business owners so you can hear about how the impact has happened. We had it during one of the roundups that we made a call for submissions from people. But I mean, I wish you know I can you know go through all the different parts of the question, I think it's important to do that like the the CEO story this you know how we work with clients and things like that. I think the biggest thing that we sometimes forget in these times is that human aspect and I hope by doing this episode I'm hopefully bringing that to light from not just Rob but so many entrepreneurs and business owners like Rob. I don't know that I'm properly qualified to say what you should or shouldn't do as far as like a business or to do this or that or the third, but I know that there will be tremendous changes happening to businesses and entrepreneurs largely because of this time in history because of the the virus and because of the impact that it has had, business will not be the same. You will probably see a very high increase in the online space, a lot of you know more virtual meetings. It is just going to change things tremendously and that's really going to hurt a lot of businesses. I think the thing that I listen to, I believe it was J. Billis, he mentioned that his grandma would always use the same tea bag so many times over and over again and those things happen because people, his grandma specifically I think was during like the depression and having to reuse things and change lifelong habits as a result of that. This is one of those moments I think that not only are we going to see those impacts on the businesses as I talked about, a lot more technology, a lot more kind of permanent fixtures in our lives, but I think that those things that we hear about from previous generations that were and had to live to really catastrophic and impactful times that it's happening right now. So, a lot of the things that are happening from a business standpoint, you will see change a lot of things from a health standpoint from a personal standpoint you will see change so.

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Gresham Harkless 9:27

With that being said, I don't really know much more than what to say you know during this podcast, I just would say definitely please reach out to your loved ones, reach out and take care of yourself, stay healthy, wash your hands do all those things that will allow you to continue to be healthy. But at the same time because of the podcast that I have, because of the kind of the playpen that I play in as far as like working with and interviewing entrepreneurs and business owners don't forget those small to medium-sized businesses, don't forget that they're made up of people, don't forget that they too have families, they too have kids they are not just you know racking up a lot and lots of money, they actually have wants, needs and that human aspect of business that I think so often we miss. With that being said, I just want you to hopefully understand the impact of everything that's happening, I want you to understand the impact of the lives within those businesses and those organizations, and just be aware of it. That's all I can really say, that's what sits on my heart right now. Just catastrophic as this is and as you know much of a decimation as it has been for so many people in the business world and it will be depending on when you're listening to this, one of those pivotal moments in history that completely changes the way that we're doing business.

Gresham Harkless 11:04

So, I wanted to just you know take some time out, I'll put some links in the show notes as well too as far as COVID actual information, this is not like an expert advice is, it's just simply saying don't forget about those stories of those business owners; those entrepreneurs that work really really hard and really long hours to be able to live their passions but also walk in their gifts and give their gifts to the world, that things like this can completely destroy businesses. With that being said, this is Gresh signing out please stay safe, stay healthy as much as you can and definitely prayers and blessings to everybody that's listening to this and those that even aren’t.

Outro 11:51

Thank you for listening to the I am CEO podcast powered by blue 16 media, tune in next time and visit us at I am CEO is not just a phrase It's a community be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts subscribe and leave us a five-star rating, grab CEO gear at this has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr, thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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