Spring is traditionally a time of renewal, and this year the sense of possibility the season brings is amplified by easing of some restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More and more people are getting vaccinated. Extended families are reuniting. Children are returning to classrooms. Shuttered businesses are opening their doors. Patrons are once again dining indoors.
Many businesses are not yet running at full capacity, but optimism is running high that limits will be dispensed with in a reasonable amount of time. A number of hard-hit businesses will not reopen, but the assistance provided by the March 2021 COVID-19 relief bill will help some get back on their feet, possibly with new ventures. Other business owners found innovative ways to serve customers and have come through the worst of the pandemic even stronger.
Now that commerce is ramping up again, you are probably already checking in with merchants to tell them how glad you are that they made it through one of the toughest years on record and to make sure their payment acceptance and related services are functioning optimally in light of less constrained conditions.
It's also an opportune time to brainstorm with them about how to prepare for potential future adverse events such as hurricanes, floods, wildfires, earthquakes—or another pandemic.
In addition, it's a good time to consider helping merchants prepare for the coming summer months. Balmy weather, for example, allows retailers to display their wares on the sidewalk to entice people walking by. Do your mom-and-pop customers have mobile payment acceptance so they can check customers out in front of the store?
And now that trees are budding and flowers are blooming, you might want to drum up new accounts for seasonal businesses or those that have been sidelined during the pandemic. Here are some possible business types to consider:
At this time, I also want to convey how grateful I am that you are in the payments business, coming up with innovative ways to serve merchants, sticking with it through good times and bad—and through it all, reading this magazine. The year ahead looks promising for our sphere. If we stay on our toes, continue to listen well when nurturing relationships, stay abreast of new technology, and endeavor to provide the best products and services, we will continue to thrive.
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