Commerce Matters: Plenty of C’s to success for small business in 2021 (Voices)

Ann Silver is CEO of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce.

Ann Silver is CEO of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce.

We’re well into a new year, a new administration in Washington and a new legislature. And words matter more than ever as we pivot to the type and tone of discourse that demonstrate greater decency and tolerance.

Words do matter, now more than ever, and some come to mind when thinking about the future wellbeing of our community: collaboration, cooperation, collegiality, communication, compromise, creativity, calm, change, concede, contentment, counsel, charity, consideration, courage, courtesy, character, civility, cheer, clarity, commitment, convey, compare, challenge, concur, celebrate, climate, centralize, continuity, commemorate, coexist, clean, correspond, catalyze, and of course, commerce.

Our business community continues to struggle; employees must enforce mandates daily, graciously ask that masks be worn, work long hours at a record pace, find innovative solutions to sustainability, and forge ahead with or without government relief in the form of loans and grants.

Let’s give our businesses the love they need during this month. Send a valentine to your favorite business — send several, all in the form of patronage, be it through take-out, delivery, online or in person.

Help restore the pride and dignity of so many small businesses that did everything possible to retain and pay their employees. Help business owners who had the stamina to open their doors each day, equipped with personal protective equipment, posters in their entry ways, and cautious customers. Help to maintain the lifeblood of our community and purchase the goods and services that we’ll all rely upon long past this pandemic or any administration.

The tension we’ve experienced with the dual burdens of national chaos and the restrictions due to COVID can be relieved by understanding our traditions and respect for what we know to be true: we are practical and wise people who believe in being forces for good rather than evil and our community will be better served by adults setting positive examples for future generations.

The Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce has maintained its mission to advocate, inform, and connect our members and we will continue to do so while standing by our public policies and priorities throughout the legislative session. We’ll use many of the words listed above to make the voice of business known and continue to behave in a manner befitting a new beginning.

Let’s strive to be more tolerant of diverse opinions and resolve to mend fences, repair fractured relationships, and tone down the rhetoric that’s created friction among friends, colleagues, and even family members.

None of us want a community that can’t withstand the range of thoughts and beliefs among us. Let’s commit ourselves to a better 2021.

“Commerce Matters” is a monthly Voices column in the NNBW authored by Ann Silver, CEO of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce. Reach her for comment at


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