95°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

The right thing to do

Although the resort-hotels of my company, Las Vegas Sands, are shuttered, I’m paying every one of our nearly 10,000 employees as though they were still working. We’re even working to make up for lost tips. I hope to do that right up until the time that we can reopen our businesses.

It’s not only the right thing to do — it’s good business.

I’ve often said the story of my career would be a true rags-to-riches story, except for the fact that my parents couldn’t even afford the rags. As the son of hardworking, low-income, immigrant parents, I grew up with the same anxiety people across the nation are feeling right now.

Where is the next meal coming from? How can I pay the rent and electricity bill? Families are desperate to know when they can go back to work.

I recall one of the most important lessons I learned from my father. He would come home from work — when he could find work, that is — and put loose change in the family pushke (charity box). When I asked why he would give to others when we had so little, he would say, “There is always someone whose need is greater than ours.”

There are certainly great stories of corporate America doing all it can to support employees’ needs during a time when so many Americans have been asked to stand down from their work.

But we employers, especially larger ones, can do more. We should do more.

To my fellow corporate executives who are looking at spreadsheets and trying to determine the impact this crisis will have on sales and share prices, let me say: Our job as business leaders is now as simple as it is challenging. It is to maximize the number of employees and their families that we can help — and help them for as long as possible.

America’s corporations and small- and medium-sized businesses are making excruciating decisions. Many will result in people being out of work; millions have already been added to the jobless rolls as a result of the pandemic. Those difficult decisions, especially for small- and medium-sized businesses, could determine whether they are able to reopen when this crisis is resolved.

That is why protecting the ability of small- and medium-sized businesses to recover is where government must again be responsive. Yes, more than $2 trillion in government rescue is coming. However, the longer this crisis continues, the greater the risk to the livelihood of many more Americans.

Our elected officials are rising to the occasion. President Donald Trump and congressional leaders of both parties worked to pass the largest rescue package in history, in record time. Our nation’s governors, led by the examples of Andrew Cuomo, Mike DeWine, Gavin Newsom and Steve Sisolak, are taking decisive actions to protect health and safety — decisions they surely never imagined they would be required to make.

Las Vegas, the city I have called home for more than 25 years, hasn’t been immune to significant downturns and devastating events. After the 9/11 terror attacks, planes stopped flying and hotel rooms sat empty. During the 2008-09 financial crisis, consumers stopped spending, and companies canceled their trade shows and meetings. Most recently, our community was shaken to its core by a tragic mass shooting.

Is this different? I don’t believe so. Though each of those examples presented its own set of challenges, my community reached deep and pulled through for each other. America will do the same.

As an octogenarian, I have seen the perseverance of this country over and over again. The common thread is that this nation and its people always come together in times of great need. There is no doubting this is one of those times, and the need is great.

The coming weeks will be tough, and the months that follow will be unsteady. To my fellow business leaders, let us lead by example. I will gladly participate in an ongoing discussion with each of you on ways we can work together to protect this nation’s workforce.

Let us prove the greatness, compassion and resiliency of this country, once again.

Sheldon Adelson is a businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp. The Las Vegas Review-Journal and Boulder City Review are owned by the Adelson family.

This essay originally appeared April 2 in the New York Post.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Air traffic control towers save lives

I commend the City Council for its interest in the construction of an air traffic control tower at the Boulder City airport, a move that will enhance safety and could even save lives.

Bishop’s ordination filled the soul

Hundreds of devout souls came out Friday to celebrate one of Boulder City’s own, the Rev. Gregory Gordon, who was ordained as the first auxiliary bishop for the Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas.

Consult pilots about need for air control tower

Did you know that there are over 15,000 public and private airports in the United States, and only 300 or so are served by the airlines? There are only 648 airport control towers in the entire nation. Therefore, there are approximately 14,000 airports without control towers. So, the question is: Does our tiny airport need a control tower?

Extend warm welcome to new council members

Tuesday, the city welcomed its two new council members, Matt Fox and Sherri Jorgensen. I wish them all the best as they begin this new chapter in their lives.

Some information bears repeating — often

So often we say or write something and the intended audience takes it in a completely different way from what you planned or ignores it totally. What do you do?

Does city desire family housing?

Many issues seem to be a perpetual part of Boulder City politics. One of those that always seems to arise during an election is how does Boulder City continue to keep our schools filled with children? Over half the population of Boulder City is older than 50.

Commentary: Water conservation remains key to sustainable future

The last time Lake Mead was at 35 percent capacity, it was being filled in the 1930s. While ongoing drought and climate change have created an uncomfortable reality and stressed water supplies, the Southern Nevada Water Authority has been preparing for this for almost 20 years. Now, with a federal shortage declaration just weeks away, our community’s commitment to conserving our limited water resources takes on a new urgency as we strive to protect the vibrancy of the place that more than two million of us call home.

Public utility commission needed for social media

Holding and reading a newspaper is old school these days. However, Facebook, and other social media platforms, have given us the power of instant feedback. I said in a previous column that all feedback is good, even when it is negative.

Enjoy July’s many gifts

Today is July 1 and it marks the beginning of one of my favorite months of the year.

New leaders will bring fresh perspective to city

The recent municipal election resulted in two new council members being elected. I congratulate Sherri Jorgensen and Matt Fox on their elections and welcome their input on City Council.