A Challenging Year

How do we reconcile 2020’s tragedy, economic devastation, environmental destruction, and the exposure of racial injustice and police brutality with any level of optimism and hope for the future? Added to that, 2021 has opened with the horrific riot that invaded the US Capitol building attempting to undermine the democratic transfer of the presidency. We should not gloss over any of this to simply “remain positive.” But are there reasons for optimism and hope alongside the anguish and struggles we can’t ignore?  

In the real estate development business, a degree of optimism and hope is required to push through all the risks and obstacles to build projects in our communities and help teams make visions into realities. More broadly, we are optimistic about the economic forecast, which will lead to investor confidence for building projects especially in the multi-family and industrial/warehouse sectors. We are optimistic about opportunities for Vermont as a destination to live and work remotely as more companies embrace a mobile professional workforce. We are hopeful about leadership focusing on policy reform for working families and small businesses. We are hopeful about local activism and community organizing maintaining momentum. We are hopeful about businesses awakening to unjust practices and taking action. We are hopeful about voter turnout and the youth of America being activated.

As we move into the new year, let’s all do what we can to help bring about these realities. Let us challenge the way our thoughts and actions impact others and question unfair biases we bring to our daily interactions. Let’s be vigilant in personal health & safety and continue to support the workforce whose lives have been transformed. Our ongoing support is needed for essential workers, who take risks for themselves and their families every day to keep our communities going. And let us all practice empathy and flexibility as we collectively work our way through all this.

What will we know in December 2021 that we don’t know now? It is our hope that the answer is ‘a lot’ and that our reasons to be optimistic and hopeful were well-founded.

Until then, we at White + Burke wish you, our clients and colleagues, a safe, peaceful, and successful new year.