It seems like no matter where you go or what you do, no matter who you’re talking to or what you’re talking about, the conversation always comes back to COVID. Over the past few months, there has been an onslaught of bad news, scary developments and new things to worry about.

Even if you, your family and your business are doing well, there’s a cloud of uncertainty and distress hanging in the air. Vacations are canceled, school plans are up in the air and everyday stress is starting to take its toll.

Even those that experienced a boom in sales are wondering what the rest of this year and next year will hold. Ken Fisher, CEO of AmericanHort, noted at Cultivate’20 Virtual that the industry has seen about a 25% increase to date this year. But consumer spending will continue to be key and business owners must be careful about capital, cash and spending.

The recession that we’re currently experiencing isn’t like those in the past. Dr. Charlie Hall noted at the virtual trade show that this is the first recession in which we’ve seen a cutback on services spending. To give some context, during the Great Recession, there was a 3% increase. Fisher had a similar analysis, noting that this recession will be impacted greatly by stubborn unemployment rates. “This is a consumer recession,” he said.

The good news is that recessions over the last 50 years have been relatively short-lived — 10 to 16 months, according to Fisher. While that’s short in the grand scheme of things, it can seem like an eternity to businesses scrambling to stay afloat.

Your customers are no doubt dealing with the same fears and crisis fatigue that you are. Thankfully, the green industry is poised to provide much-needed optimism. During the Great Recession, there were tons of great examples of marketing campaigns that seized on the opportunity to provide comfort, hope and a human touch. Remember Coke’s “Open Happiness” campaign from 2009? “Plant Happiness” is just as catchy.

Kate Spirgen, Editor | kspirgen@gie.net | 216-393-0277