For most of my life, my father has co-owned and run a small business. My entirely unbiased opinion is that he is exceptional at finding and artfully transforming forgotten neighborhoods and buildings; a catalyst in opening the door to the start of something new, while never losing or compromising the essence of what was before. We started UnifiHealth to provide better, more affordable health benefits for businesses like my father’s – the employers across the country who employ nearly half of the US workforce. The need for a better, different solution than the options today is not new, but now, in April 2020, this notion has been deeply magnified as COVID-19 has pushed the industry onto the global stage in an unprecedented way.
As the world rearranges, the fate of many small businesses has become increasingly precarious. Alongside the pervasive reality of loss and upheaval is a strong current of interconnectedness, through which a largely positive side of humanity has emerged and transcended any single individual or organization. With each extension of kindness to those in need, and in an ever evolving display of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, small businesses and their surrounding communities have embodied the South African notion of Ubuntu, in which interconnectedness is reliant on an interlocking extension of support. Any single entity can only realize growth and progress through the growth and progression of others.
At the core of UnifiHealth is a mission to build a collective foundation of connectedness that in turn breaks down barriers to accessing the right healthcare, at the right time, at the right price, for small businesses and their employees. And so, with eyes wide open, we are launching in the middle of a global pandemic. Some may venture to say that we are some of “the crazy ones.” There’s admittedly truth in that. But healthcare and the world as we know it are evolving in front of us.
Whatever we find on the road to recovery, small businesses will need a new model of affordable and comprehensive health benefits for their employees, and we will be there to help them.