Voice of Dayton Business: Compromise is where work gets done

Chris Kershner. CONTRIBUTED
Chris Kershner. CONTRIBUTED

Our nation, state and the Dayton region were founded on principles of free enterprise, entrepreneurism and collaboration. In fact, they’re hallmarks of democracy.

Respecting differing opinions and viewpoints are a true value-add of our society, and it is this value that has allowed our great country to succeed for hundreds of years.

Constructive debate, understanding differing perspectives and finding a mutually agreeable compromise allows for a productive environment that supports economic growth.

Compromise is where real change, growth and evolution can occur in business and government – both sides sacrificing for the greater good and both sides succeeding for their constituency allows natural evolution to occur.

We have to find our way to this place, because supporting business growth and creating an environment in which businesses can thrive is the responsibility of our government leaders, and our responsibility as a community. Single-sided perspectives that result in single-sided outcomes only benefit a select few and don’t move a country, state or community forward.

We face great challenges. COVID-19 has put our economy in a fragile state. Our economic health is at a true tipping point and everyone needs to work together, or we could face an unprecedented economic spiral from which our business community will take years to recover.

In this same vein, if we work together, support our business community, reduce regulatory burdens, and create an environment that is conducive to a healthy economy, we could emerge from this pandemic stronger than we have ever been. Crisis breeds opportunity, and we have a true opportunity to help our economy and our businesses.

There is real work that needs to be done in Washington, D.C., to help our business community rise out of this crisis. Paycheck Protection Program loans need to be forgiven, investment in our infrastructure is critical, and helping our nation return to a healthy economy must be paramount.

In addition, our employers are finding new ways to utilize existing talent and identifying new employee skill sets they never knew existed. These employers need support from our government partners to re-tool, upskill and train their workforce for a post COVID-19 era.

We can’t achieve these objectives alone, and we need all our elected officials to work together toward these pro-economic recovery objectives. We must move forward, but if we don’t work as collective that respects differing opinions, we will end up going in reverse. We have a lot on our plate that needs to be accomplished for our business community. Compromise is where the work gets done.

The world is watching. This is our opportunity to lead and show them how to grow from this crisis. Diversity of opinions, perspectives and experiences is a core value of the Chamber. It creates constructive deliberation, resulting in a healthier democracy.

It’s our responsibility to show the world how these foundational principles remain constant, especially in times of economic unrest and political transition.

Chris Kershner is the president and CEO of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.