March 17, 2020

On a personal note, I am deeply concerned for the health and welfare of our partners, their families and their businesses. With today’s announcement by the CDC that no more than 10 people should gather, my sincere hope is that each one of you is taking the severity of this crisis along with all CDC recommendations seriously. I strongly believe that we must all be focused on preventing the impending health crisis and the ensuing economic crisis. If we all do our part and uphold our civic responsibility, it is much more likely that we can start to contain the virus and the resulting economic impacts, while deep, will be shortened. I truly believe that full containment is our best hope to get back to a normalized environment and economy as soon as possible. We will continue to monitor the CDC guidance as it is changing regularly; and we will update our policies accordingly.

The severity of what our nation is facing is tremendous and unprecedented, with no modern parallels, no escape and no safe harbor. We must all work together to contain the virus and the impact to our healthcare systems, our communities and our economy. We understand that many states and cities have acted to close restaurants from the general public. As of 8am this morning, the State of Colorado closed all restaurants, bars, casinos, theaters and gyms for 30 days.  Thankfully in Colorado and some other states the governmental orders allow for takeout and delivery. It is critical that our constituents are lobbying their public representatives now to allow restaurants to stay open in this limited format. I expect almost all severely impacted areas to follow suit in the coming days, eventually impacting the entire nation. The San Francisco Bay Area counties have gone further and issued “shelter-in-place” orders forcing complete closures. Our industry and those up and down the supply chain will be significantly impacted by these actions. While we have no idea how long this will last; most announcements to date have fallen into the 30-60 day range for now.

We are considering all options and are open to all ideas for us to be helpful to our partners during this very difficult time. We recognize that this will put significant hardship on all businesses; especially on your clients, on your business and on the entire supply chain for an extended period. We encourage you to prepare your business for extended disruption (in my mind this means likely 8 weeks, although it could potentially be longer). The situation is extremely fluid, and we urge prudence in your business decisions.

Stay calm, we will recover. Center yourself often by breathing deeply, taking a walk, and thinking positive thoughts. “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James.  Be financially and personally resilient. Communicate with employees and customers often. Eat chicken soup, it’s good for your soul! We will overcome this difficult period and be stronger for our perseverance.

With gratitude,

Randy Brunschwig