The economy shouldn’t be a Republican or Democratic issue as Michigan weighs decisions regarding COVID-19. True leaders must put politics and personal agendas aside to do what is best for the greater good.

As a small business owner married to a small business owner, I don’t see the logic behind some of the leadership decisions during the Coronavirus pandemic.

I work with clients on a regular basis on creating strategies. Although I am not privy to the conversations behind closed doors, I don’t see the strategies related to the decisions.

I don’t understand how not being able to hire a landscaping company to mow the lawn or buy products to plant seeds makes sense.

Although I appreciate the efforts made to keep everyone safe and to flatten the curve, I do not agree with the aggressive measures taken regarding the State of Michigan’s lock down when it relates to business.

I do know that there is no value in attacking anyone and that is not my intent. It is to encourage leaders to connect to collaborate and to communicate with each other.

I know that Republicans and Democrats fighting on social media helps no one. The social media attacks against both the President and Michigan’s Governor are despicable. I don’t always agree with them but I will respect the office each represents. If you want to be seen as a leader, you need to act like one. Just because one person says something offensive or stupid doesn’t mean you do the same.

I know that true leaders are trained to work together to find resolutions. The business community and the government need to be working together to come up with a strategy.

Businesses are capable of following Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to keep employees and customers safe; many essential businesses have been doing just that over the last few weeks. Businesses have to be committed to following guidelines, including gas stations providing wipes to sanitize gas pumps.

We have bright minds in political office on both sides of the political aisle and in business leadership positions. I have faith that if they connected and collaborated, they can safely open our state’s economy and help us move forward while reducing the negative impacts this virus could have on the state.

Both need to put politics and personal agendas aside. They have to focus on what’s in the best interest of the State.

Whether you agree with the April 15th rally in Lansing or not, it still demonstrates that people are frustrated, angry and fearful. Unless you have owned and operated a small business, you do not have first-hand knowledge of the challenges small business owners are facing.

It’s easy to attack when you are still collecting a paycheck and able to pay your bills.

There are obviously serious health issues at hand and we need to rely on the CDC for guidelines as we wait for a vaccine and medicines for a cure. However, we cannot wait for these medicines to open businesses.

Leaders at all levels in both business and government in the State of Michigan need to put personal and political agendas aside and start talking. Get on Zoom and come up with strategies to open the State’s economy and help us move past this crisis.

Small business owners are big employers. People depend on their success for their livelihood. We need to open the Michigan economy or the results could be devastating. We need them to survive so the state can thrive.

Vanessa Denha Garmo is the Founder of Epiphany Communications & Coaching and Communications Evangelist Institute. She is a communications strategist, content creator and coach.