Explaining how COVID-19 is affecting small businesses is impossible in one blog post. To be blunt, the situation is dire for many small businesses. Small business owners are worried about laying off staff, losing income, and worse. COVID-19 is affecting many small businesses in terrible ways, especially those in the hospitality industry.
Business owners are doing what they always do – trying to grow and adapt to sudden change, while working as hard as they can to keep all their stakeholders happy. From changing how they serve their customers to how they care for their employees, much has altered in the world of small business. Many businesses that were forced to close their physical doors have moved online, quickly adapting by offering delivery services. Some business owners are delivering goods themselves; loading their wares into vehicles they then drive to their clients’ homes.
Many employers have had to lay off staff. This is in spite of money that’s being extended by the federal government (more on that later). Uncertainty is a hallmark of these times, and when the market is both uncertain and sluggish, business owners in all industries tend to be conservative with their spending. Lately, there have been difficult conversations with employees. Some business owners are looking at re-evaluating the role their employees play in their business. Of course efforts are being made to keep employees; the cost of hiring and training new employees might be too much to bear for some cash-deprived, small businesses.
Several small businesses have elected to transition to a work-from-home scheme. These transitions aren’t always easy, but COVID-19 may actually change the landscape of work on a more permanent basis. Softwares like Zoom and Microsoft Teams are suddenly in vogue, and people are finding ways to continue to interact with their clients successfully. Social media posts are now often focused on how their businesses can help their clients find comfort while staying at home. Business owners are stepping up as stalwart members of the community – there to help those in need. There is a sense of togetherness in these times of isolation.
The Government of Canada is offering a number of financial lifelines to small businesses. One of the most important of these is the 75% wage subsidy, which covers 75% of employee wages (up to $847 per employee per week) for eligible businesses. This subsidy is only offered to employers who have lost a certain percentage of their earnings. There are a number of other subsidies that are available from the Canadian government, and provincial governments may have other benefits available.
To understand more about the subsidies or to try to piece together your business’ financial puzzle in these troubling times, consider talking to a CPA accountant in Winnipeg. We can help you find the places you can save money. We can help you find opportunities for growth in a sluggish economy. We can help you get through this trying time.