In a few short days, we’ll be celebrating the beginning of a fresh, new year and likely reflecting on all that’s changed over the past 10 months. Many of us have been taken out of our comfort zones, experienced some serious challenges and, for some, even lost loved ones due to the pandemic and economic scourge!
At Paragon we had a strong start to 2020. We saw usually slower times become busier and typically busier times become a little bit slower. The uncertainty around the pandemic led to fewer hires, nonessential projects being shelved and even strong organizations furloughing teams. We cut expenses, increased our focus on training and growth, and are now poised to begin 2021 stronger than ever before.
We did all of this while trying to hang on to as much normalcy as possible - talking through masks, not seeing smiles or enjoying the company of our friends, families and neighbors.
There have been some winners and losers throughout this virus. To say that Amazon, Fed Ex, UPS and streaming television have been winning is an understatement! The stock market has bounced and set new records, mostly buoyed by the notion that a vaccine might help us move on. But many have been less fortunate. We have seen the retailers and restaurants in our neighborhoods suffer and tragically shutter their doors.
We have learned how to take care of each other, had more family time and realized what’s most important in a fast-paced world that slowed down overnight. We learned how to be tutors and teachers, how to work virtually and how to stay connected with dearly missed family and friends.
We watched sports with no crowds, missed out on tailgating for fall football, ordered more carry-out, cooked more meals and ate more leftovers than ever before. We lost access to our gyms, and then gained and lost more than a little COVID weight.
We have also seen some rise to one of the biggest challenges of their lives. If you are 30 years or younger, this is your first serious economic downturn and first pandemic - but likely not your last! If you are 88 years old, you have lived through the end of the Great Depression, the beginning and end of World War II, The Korean, Vietnam and Cold War, and the Farm Crisis. You have seen 15 different Presidents, have raised kids and grandkids, outlived the average American and, of course, now a worldwide pandemic.
We have no doubt that this pandemic will reshape our lives in more ways than we can imagine.
Despite all of the ugly politics, social media outrage and conspiracy theories, we have miraculously found a solution to this virus in record time. As with all great challenges in our lives, we will soon realize that we have grown stronger and better.
Here at Paragon, we are incredibly grateful and proud of what we accomplished in 2020. We want to give a heartfelt thank you to all of the frontline and essential workers. Their sacrifices will not be forgotten. To our clients, partners, consultants and, most importantly, our loyal employees who have remained focused and supported one another this year, we cannot thank you enough.
We know we are not alone when we say we are looking forward to 2021!
Happy Holidays to all and we look forward to the opportunity of serving you in the year ahead!
Craig & Joel Jackman