The exchange of goods and services is only one dimension of business. The community of entrepreneurship is integral to the wholesome and fair development of society. These sections consider the multifarious contributions of business to social achievements and personal freedoms.
There are crises and there was the coronavirus crisis. The difference with the latter, for leaders, was that everything else – not just their companies or industries – hit a brick wall.
The Covid-19 outbreak happens at the very first quarter of this decade and should be a lesson in how businesses, small and large have to mobilise to adjust to such an emergency. Some companies shifted operations away from their corporate bases to quickly set up remote working capabilities without disrupting the customer experience; others completely reworked their business models to cater for new consumption patterns.
Other companies, however, have sadly ground to a halt and risked dying with their boots on. And with them, thousands of families would suffer utter devastation unless bold decisions were made in time.
The outbreak of Covid-19 was a crushing health emergency that hit communities in the most painful of ways. On top of that, the spread left a trail of misery among business and industry. Paradoxically, the serious and far-reaching effects of coronavirus on the economic system lay bare the importance of the commercial sector to the stability and welfare that we so easily take for granted.
It showed that businesses are not faceless, obscure machines but dynamic organisations made of people and their families. The business community is a major underwriter of social order and wellbeing. Along with government, institutions, and the media, companies are the main stakeholders that uphold contemporary civilisation and allow individuals to improve their lives.
While many are right to call out greed and profiteering by unscrupulous people in business when they take place, it is times like the coronavirus crisis that help us appreciate the efforts of entrepreneurs and the shared benefits made possible by the accomplishments of audacious dreamers and determined risk-takers.
Malta’s thriving economy over the past decades has been silently foregrounded by its intrepid business community: women, men and whole families who found ways to successfully navigate an exposed market and boost its performance comprehensively.
We often say that the workforce in Malta is enterprising and inventive and the collective response to the Covid-19 situation was indeed nothing short of remarkable. In more ways than one, the business community reflects a nation’s success.