Stepping Up in Crisis: EO Members Respond to COVID-19

In times of crisis, entrepreneurs step up to take the lead on creating groundbreaking pathways toward renewal. We asked three EO members what strategies they are implementing at work and in their personal lives as COVID-19 continues to spread.

Evan Nierman is the founder and CEO of Red Banyan, an international crisis public relations firm. He is an EO South Florida member.

Red Banyan is approaching the present situation with calm and decisiveness, which is how we counsel our clients to operate in times of crisis. We are making our team members available to provide free, 15-minute same-day consultations so that we can educate businesses on how to draw upon proven best practices and put them to use.

We want to be diligent in protecting the health, safety and well-being of every single person at our company, which is our top priority. Our employees are now working remotely. Thankfully, the digital age and the nature of our business allows our employees to work a full, productive day from home, always getting our clients results, with speed and professionalism.

We are also negotiating payment terms with creditors such as landlords, freezing raises, eliminating all but the most essential expenses and exploring a range of other steps.

Bruce Stanger is a partner at Stanger Stanfield Law and an EO member in Connecticut.

Within a few days of 11 September 2001, I purchased plane tickets for optional personal travel. That winter, our holiday trip was dinner and a show on Broadway in New York. New York City lost so much of its important economic driver, tourism. The big loser then was the travel and tourism industry and we tried to set an example.

The big loser today will likely be travel and also all the local businesses that we visit each week. Restaurants, coffee shops, markets, barbers—the list is just too long to complete. We owe it to our families and our communities to spend money locally. Not just the big box stores. Not the big Internet sellers. We’ll probably see more businesses delivering, and we will use them.

Matteo Ghedini is the CEO of Brera Serviced Apartments and an EO member in Italy.

A key issue in the travel industry right now is to secure business. Flexibility in cancellation terms and low-cost opportunities are needed.

We have decided to offer more flexible conditions at attractive rates to gain business. We will reduce a few costs of unnecessary projects and, most importantly, will do our utmost to protect our team where possible.

We are also looking into alternative target groups and into offering our space for alternative business options. For example, we are trying to do our share to support the most crucial people in this emergency (doctors and nurses) by offering them our apartments in order to stay isolated and safe throughout this crisis.




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