Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill knew a thing or two about getting through a crisis. His advice certainly rings true when you are in business in the middle of a pandemic.
It’s been hell…
Let’s face it, a lot of small business owners are barely hanging on. Depending on the sector, business has either stopped dead, pivoted to another line of business, or adapted to meet safety standards for their
employees and the public. While there is a significant portion of the economy still operating, no one is
This week the Federal Government and the provinces unveiled pan-Canadian principles to restart the economy. Ontario also released a framework for re-opening the province. The emphasis is on safety, and rightly so. Getting the recovery wrong would likely mean plunging back into lockdown, so let’s be smart about it. While the Provinces are all talking about a phase-in approach, with benchmarks, Ontario’s plan is as follows:
Rather than establishing a timeline, the Ontario Government will wisely use a range of criteria, including:
Every business should be studying these guidelines, not only for which “Stage” they likely fit into, but for clues as to what they will need to do in order to fit the criteria. Think about how your business will “meet current public health guidelines”, or open with “significant mitigation plans” and “continued protections”.
Every business should be studying how the “essential services” are doing it. How can you mimic the grocery stores, the construction sites, the manufacturing facilities, the alternative methods of product or service delivery – everything from curbside pick-ups to Zoom meetings.
Ask yourself if your current physical space will be safe. How can you train staff in safe practices, and enforce them? Will you have to limit the number of people in your store? Can you deal with lineups? What if
someone tries on a pair of jeans?
Obviously, everyone wants to know “When?”, but until we can answer that question, “How?” is a great way to be spending your time.
The Retail Council of Canada provides lots of tips and tricks here: retailcouncil.org/coronavirus-info-for-retailers/covid-19-health-and-safety-resources/
You may belong to an industry association that has developed specific
guidelines. The Chamber is polling our members looking for guidance, tips and tricks.
We will continue to share information from you, and with you. Meanwhile, we continue to focus on our three key deliverables:
Influence – From the earliest days we have been lobbying all three levels of Government to provide meaningful and effective programs to help the business community through the pandemic. We have also
lobbied successfully for modifications. Here is a look at what we have asked for, and what has been
Profile – For businesses who have remained open, modified how they provide service, pivoted to a new line of business, or transitioned to an online offering, we have promoted everyone through our social media channels, emails, our newsletter, Zoom interviews and more. If we’ve missed you, please let us know, and be sure to tag us in your own social media posts. Our new Gift Card program, launched last week, has over 80 businesses listed already, and is generating revenue. Be sure to register your business, not-for-profit, farm products etc., and feel free to do some shopping to support your local business community at the same time: www.peterboroughchamber.ca/gift-cards.html
Knowledge – Our dedicated web page is updated daily. It includes a comprehensive list of links to every
Government relief program, information from local experts, FAQ’s, health and safety information and increasingly – information on recovery. Here is the link: peterboroughchamber.ca/covid-19-pandemic-preparedness.html