What does COVID-19 mean for Business
Owners and employees alike are facing a drastic shock to their quarters as March (and to a lesser extent February) have been some of the slowest in recent years. Every industry, from safety consulting and governmental agencies to restaurants and salons face a closure either self-imposed or mandated by the government. And the resulting slump in both earning potential and revenue has already been devastating for many small and medium sized businesses. For anywhere that’s able to stay open during the crisis, mostly large grocery and superstores, the focus has shifted instead to what can be done to maximize hygienic practices for both shoppers and employees alike.
There’s been an increased trend in diverting manpower in your store towards handing out hand sanitizer and wet wipes to patrons. That’s really a sign of these troubled times, as the few stores who are still able to be open can’t help but produce an atmosphere of unease as every person is met with an uneasy gaze and masked faces have replaced smiles from cashiers and staff. If a business is trying to stay open during these times, the most important thing to remember is that people aren’t shopping for pleasure or luxuries. People aren’t out for a casual meal or leisurely event. Canadian (and global) society has been galvanized into a state of readiness and fear beneath the growing shadow of COVID-19, and people are leaving their homes only when necessary and only to get what they absolutely need.
Most stores and places of work have transitioned to a skeleton crew state, having as few people on staff as possible. Similarly office buildings have asked most workers to work from home how and when available. The Federal government has announced a plan to boost business owner and regular citizen’s coffers a bit and ease the financial strain that’s being felt all around. If workers can’t work, businesses close, no businesses means no rent for most people and the need for systemic intervention is well past. Justin Trudeau has promised bailouts and a support system for Canadians and we all have to remain hopeful that it will be enough, and come in time to save those people and businesses struggling under the effects of Corona Virus.
Canadian governments are telling everyone to “stay home and stay informed”. This goes for both those who can and cannot work from home. The economic repercussions do not outweigh the negative health implications that any form of work gatherings could theoretically bring on. If possible to stay indoors everyone should consider that option and should only go out when necessary. And as a business owner you really have to assess if staying open is in your best interests both financially and medically speaking.
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