Counselor Commentary: Ignore The Government Shutdown

Distributors, Suppliers Should Focus Inward

Andy CohenAs partisans in Congress and Washington D.C. argue over the country's annual budget and whether or not to fund the government for the next fiscal year, businesses across the United States should be focused elsewhere. Yes, the nightly news will lead with Government Shutdown drama – including showing totally inane clocks that are counting the hours, minutes and seconds since the government has been shut down – but it's incumbent upon industry distributors and suppliers to focus inward.

How much time are you spending thinking about the government shutdown? Hopefully not much, as it most likely doesn't have a material impact on your business at all. Unless your company is selling millions of dollars worth of promotional products to the federal government, your business can move on without ever knowing the government wasn't even operational.

In fact, businesses so much shrug off government shutdowns that the stock market has historically yawned when the – gasp! – national parks, landmarks, and museums close their doors. According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, over the course of 11 shutdowns since 1981, stock market reaction one month from shutdown date was negative only three times. Actually, the average change in the market one month following each of the shutdowns was an increase of 2.8%. “You can cut through the interminable noise that will continue to dominate the news and hopefully be prepared to profit while others are panicking," said Raymond James stock market analyst Andrew Adams, in a note to clients. "Remember, just because the government shut down does not mean you should shut down your portfolio."

Those words should apply to companies in the ad specialty market, as well. Let others fight over – and wax not so poetically about – the Affordable Care Act and the government's budget. Your efforts should be focused laser-like on your daily business – fulfilling orders, providing standout customer service, and acquiring new clients. The rest of the Government Shutdown noise? Ignore it.