Economic recovery is dependent on the development of a COVID vaccine, which the current President says will be ready in October or November. More realistic, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, say a vaccine might not be ready until next summer or even later. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)

By: Solomon Ali

HOUSTON – The face of the American economy is forever changed by this Coronavirus pandemic. In three weeks-time, we’ve witnessed financially viable companies go into rapid freefall by the millions, starting with employees and trickling rapidly. Small to mid-sized businesses are laying off in record numbers, and there is no clear end in sight. With the spread of Coronavirus, people are being asked to choose between their livelihoods and their very lives. Businesses are pairing down to “skeleton crews,” keeping just enough workers on board to get by and doubling remaining employees’ duties. Never before have we realized just how interconnected we all are in our quest for survival.

More than 20 million Americans have now filed for unemployment, an unprecedented figure.  Solomon Ali, CEO of NDR Energy Group and Revolutionary Concepts, gives us tips on how we can brace for financial impact and minimize the fallout.

 Communicate with Your Creditors and Debtors:

Explain where your company is at, discuss options and re-negotiate terms if you can. Inquire about extensions on payment terms, request waivers of late fees and penalties. The good news is that you are not alone. Tens of millions of people are currently in the same boat and your creditors know that. In many ways, this puts you in the driver’s seat to renegotiate payment terms and obtain some forgiveness on penalties that would normally be imposed.

Reach out to the current customers you do business with to gauge where they are at. Offer discounts and other payment incentives to get whatever liquid money you can upfront. For example, if a customer owes an outstanding balance of $1,000, make them an offer to pay you $700 now to settle the account. This will give you much needed cash in hand. Regarding new sales, companies should be all about solving customers’ pain points right now.

 Identify Pain Points and Solve Them:

Identify your customer or client “pain points” during this time and strategize to solve them in a way that could potentially make you indispensable during a time when most products and services will be cut from the equation. Whether that is free delivery, discount packages, future incentive packages, extra services or penalty-free rescheduling; the old playbook no longer applies. Become flexible in your approach.

 Form Strategic Alliances:

Companies should also look to industries that are thriving and communicate their desire to align and/or partner with other companies to leverage profitability, innovation and market share. Seek out companies that offer complimentary products or services and reach out to see how you can help one another. We are living through times where people are more emotionally receptive, because no matter what industry you are currently in, we are all feeling vulnerable right now.

 A Few Types of Partnerships:

Joint Venture – If you decide to merge with another business in your industry to combine assets and resources, you are going to need to consolidate and cut costs. For example, Company A may have a stronger sales team, but Company B has a better administrative team. You would consolidate those resources, keeping Company A’s sales force and Company B’s administrative team. We cut costs down because we are working together and trimmed the fat.

Equity Investment – A private equity investor comes in and either loans you capital or invests capital into your company. This means that you are loaned money in exchange for equity in your company. A private equity investor may extend you a line of credit to help you survive this climate. You don’t pay back an equity investment in traditional terms, but you will find your ownership stake shrinking, perhaps considerably. The good news is that the equity investment would likely outweigh the loss.

Acquisition – Getting acquired by a larger business that has the financial wherewithal to support your business and keep operations afloat during this period of time places a strong bandage on the current uncertain marketplace. This means you will not be in such dire need of immediate profits to stay alive or to plan the future trajectory of your business. You can also maintain your marketing and advertising efforts and continue to grow your market share without immediate profits, but with the future projection of profits.

 Streamline Efforts with Technology and Outsourcing:

Can I have my workforce work remotely? Can I outsource my marketing and advertising team? Can I streamline my administrative with technology or keep my workforce intact but teach them how to be more efficient with the use of technology? These are some of the questions to ask yourself during this time. You may find out through an efficiency audit of your business that 20% of your workforce is doing 80% of the work. With that information, you can pivot your efforts and infrastructure accordingly. This is an opportunity to become more efficient and more profitable in the long run.

 Keep Your Eye on Fall 2020:

Companies can use the spring and summer months to position themselves for an autumn boom, if they take the right strategic steps.  The financial effects of Coronavirus will be felt long after the pandemic is under control. We will feel ripples and aftershocks well into 2021 and perhaps throughout this decade. This means that business as usual is a losing proposition. Our economy will recover, albeit with a different spin than before. We will see a rise in consciousness about the way humans treat and consume animals, and we will begin to shift towards more of a cause and effect mentality. We will also come back together and socialize in slightly different yet distinctive ways, with a return to more community-based activities. Local parks, places of worship, board games and general fellowship with one another will be newly discovered and offer a newfound charm.

Employers will also become more accommodating of remote workers and flexible schedules, and will be more accommodating to sick leave and other dispensations that support employees’ health and well-being.


October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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