In most sectors of the economy, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has slowed commerce down to a crawl. Millions are out of work, demand for commodities like fuel has evaporated, and small businesses are struggling to stay afloat as shoppers stay home.
The impact on Arizona’s economy has been profound, although it is nothing compared to the burden on those who have fallen ill, their families, and health care providers.
Still, our experiment in social distancing has held a magnifying lens up to an array of business trends and supercharged others.
As always, necessity is the mother of invention, and rapid expansion in online commerce, education, and tele-health has provided a much-needed floor on the economic decline – keeping people and essential commerce moving, virtually or otherwise.
In that sense, America has had some good fortune, thanks to our nation’s leadership in online marketing and communications.
Without the ability of leaders like Google, Zoom, and Amazon to swiftly expand service to millions of Americans, it’s hard to imagine how many of the nation’s workers – both blue-collar and white – would avoid being added to the record-breaking unemployment rolls.
It’s a technological safety net that, until recently, has gone unnoticed or unappreciated.
Some of our own elected leaders have been using tech leaders as a political punching bag on the dubious theory that big is automatically bad.
But when it comes to innovation, companies like Amazon and Google are often vital players in promoting U.S. competitiveness.
With COVID-19 keeping consumers at home, the value of those online tools is now fully on display right here in Arizona.
At Nonnahs Marketing in Phoenix, we specialize in helping local businesses grow through targeted social media and online advertising. From GSuite to Google Ads, it’s a robust toolkit that wouldn’t be available in a world without ‘big tech.’
The success and popularity of Google’s tools is likely what makes the company so popular among consumers.
A recent study by the National Taxpayers Union found that only 17 percent of respondents had a negative opinion of Google and only 9 percent had a negative opinion of the tech industry in general.
That same study showed that antitrust investigations are the lowest priority to Arizona citizens with only 4 percent believing that it should be the most important priority.
Arizonans have a high opinion of our tech providers, and they also do not believe antitrust investigations are a priority during the pandemic.
I can’t help but wonder, why are our politicians willing to spend millions in taxpayer dollars to fund them?
My point is that no industry is perfect but I think that the tech industry is providing a huge benefit to society right now and our politicians should recognize that. Let U.S. tech companies help us through this difficult time and work with them to address issues of concern, outside of the courtroom.
Moses Sanchez, a Navy combat veteran, is director of operations at Nonnahs Marketing in Phoenix and an adjunct faculty member at South Mountain Community College.