Digital tools prove vital

Published 8:16 pm Friday, March 5, 2021

To the editor:

The realities of COVID-19 hit businesses hard across America last year. Many of our member restaurants were temporarily forced to close their doors and rely on digital tools when possible.

Throughout the pandemic, we have seen first-hand how technology, like online ads, social media, etc., allowed our restaurants to adapt to the changes and keep feeding our communities. Customers were able to Google new hours, order online, and business could keep them updated in real time via social media platforms.

Without these vital resources, these businesses may not have survived last year.

Unfortunately, costly investigations and lawsuits from the government are jeopardizing access to these online tools many depend upon. That’s why I signed an important letter asking our legislators to stop attacking the digital platforms and companies that provide these resources to thousands of businesses like the ones we represent. Instead, the government should focus its efforts on supporting small businesses and not going after the very companies that are helping them keep their doors open.

Small businesses will play an important part in the American economic recovery over the next few years, and we should do everything to ensure that they remain strong right now as the pandemic continues to impact business.

Pat Fontaine, Executive Director Mississippi Hospitality & Restaurant Association