The predominant color in our Top Companies cover this year is purple.
It is a rare color and one that has many meanings, but there’s no doubt that it’s strong. And it is a color that is not featured in national flags and rarely in nature. A strong and uplifting color is appropriate as we head for a 2021 that will need strength, the ability to lift ourselves up again and uplifting thoughts.
A little more about our cover. You will see the names of the companies that participated in our list from around Micronesia.
You will also see the logos of Deloitte & Touche and ASC Trust — our Sponsors.
In a typical year, Joe Arnett of Deloitte and David John of ASC Trust and I visit with as many companies on the List as we can.
I could tell you which of the companies have spacious parking lots and which of the offices have the best coffee in town — and I actually could do so for each island represented in our List (but I won’t).
More importantly, behind every logo and every entry on the List are many hands at those companies that put the information together and sent it to us — and the many hands that contributed to the work behind the dollar entries on the list.
This year when COVID-19 hit, the revenue in our islands fell away. Instead of revenue numbers, we talk of recovery projections and pandemic aid. And unemployment.
In years past in the Top Companies feature when the economies of our region tanked, we talked about “bright spots.” And there are bright spots now — the federal and international aid that has come to the region, the fact that (for more than one reason) the U.S. military has eyes on our region and continues as a prime source of dollars.
Our other feature about banking and finance is about clients and accounts.
According to the Mercator Group’s 2019 research, the average consumer has 5.3 accounts across financial institutions. Most people do not switch primary financial institutions, because that is a lot of work (inertia is what research calls it). Industry executives will be glad to hear that 84% of clients are satisfied with their banks — but only one in three consumers is interested in hearing about new products.
As we approach the New Year, I am not sure how happy it will be. But my belief in the fortitude of our islands and the creativity of our business communities remains. I wish you the strength you will need in 2021 and uplifting thoughts.