In 1889, President Grover Cleveland announced Oklahoma territories would open to all settlers to claim free land. Over 50,000 settlers lined up waiting for a gun to be shot that would signal the start for settlers to begin securing land for their homesteads. This group, including a number of settlers who “jumped the gun,” became known as the Oklahoma Sooners.
In the U.S., we’re about to experience a very similar situation as the Sooners had. Unlike a recession and the start of a boom cycle, we are entering a race to open businesses. This will be unlike anything we’ve ever experienced in our lifetime. Those who jump the gun and begin preparing NOW could be winners in this race. But those who don’t will likely face severe negative consequences.
When office and retail businesses are given the green light to reopen, this will take place all at once. Regardless of the effects of the vaccine, COVID-19 health and safety protocols will be with us for a while and businesses will need to quickly adapt to new rules and regulations in order to protect their customers and employees.
Retail businesses, especially restaurants, will need to begin restocking all of their inventory. This will put an immediate strain on all delivery services, which will consequently create panic buying and pricing. The companies who haven’t planned ahead will be stuck with their current office situation and will need to make it work, while businesses who moved will need to buy new furniture for their new space. All this leads to panic buying and pricing.
For the first time, we’re hearing the word “inflation” used in discussions of Small Business Administration (SBA) financing. The SBA is about ready to run out of money (again), and there is speculation that funding for buying properties will not necessarily get approved as quickly for fear of inflation. If everyone buys at the same time and strains product and delivery services, we will see inflation.
The winners in this race will be the businesses that act like the Oklahoma Sooners and jump the gun– start restocking now and make decisions on your current office space. Get ready to open ahead of the onslaught that is coming.