Eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic small local businesses are slowly regaining their equilibrium with some time to reflect. Throughout the Tampa Bay area some positive constants have emerged through the upheavals.
Looking ahead, it seems likely certain practices emphasized during the height of the pandemic will remain. For Franklin Street, it’s the focus on communication. “No matter how good a job you do in executing a challenge unless you communicate on it, you’re never going to do better than 50%. Communication is half the measure of success. So when the pandemic hit, we focused hard on communication—frequently communicating, sharing the different options and concerns as they arose.” Transparency was a key, Cathey believes. “We didn’t pretend to have all the answers in the time of uncertainty. But we established multifaceted patterns of communication with open opportunities for feedback.”
One memorable success was switching the monthly, companywide meeting to virtual with barely a week’s notice. The success, and engagement, of that virtual meeting, is something the company will continue, Cathey says, long after the pandemic subsides.