When Times Square’s famous New Year’s Eve “time ball” touches the ground at midnight Thursday, “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” might be a better song this time than “Auld Lang Syne.”
(We suggest dropping something else to dismiss this mostly misbegotten year. Perhaps substitute a spherical container of whipped cream that flies everywhere on impact, so 2020 doesn’t leave such a bad taste in New Yorkers’ mouths?)
If you’re like us, you’re mostly relieved that this year of COVID-19 is finally over (even though we’re stuck with the virus until enough people are vaccinated).
But we encourage you to thank our neighbors who helped us make it to this particular New Year’s Eve with our community not too much worse for wear.
In such a year as this, our health-care workers and first responders come to mind first, naturally.
Remember also those who serve our community and country in uniform, some of whom pitched in with COVID-19 testing; our teachers who have kept our children’s education going; and our street and utility crews who kept our basic services functioning.
And our bankers.
Yes, we’ve seen “It’s a Wonderful Life” many times. But don’t think of Old Man Potter. Think of Jimmy Stewart’s George Bailey and his family building and loan.
We know a lot of George Baileys. So do residents all across our state.
They’re the community bankers who live alongside us, prosper when we do and share the pain when we don’t.
National reporting on PPP has focused from the start on larger corporations and chains who got the emergency loans, even though Congress limited them to employers of 500 or fewer.
Congress, in its wisdom — and, in this case at least, we would call it wisdom — set up PPP so local banks could get the money to small businesses quickly to pay their people, landlords and utility bills.
We’ve been amazed, as we’re sure you have been, by the run of good local economic news these past few months.
It’s because our local bankers, along with our entire community, resolved not to let our small businesses wither away.
So as we say “good riddance” this week to 2020 — and we won’t question anyone who says anything even stronger — we hope you’ll thank the community bankers you know for helping us make it through.
Because of them, we feel more confident that 2021 will be a happy new year indeed.
An editorial from North Platte Telegraph, Nebraska.