I hope all is well wherever you are, and you are not in a place of suffering.
4 years ago myself and my partner set out to create community in our city. We opened a yoga studio and a dance studio with aspirations of cultivating community connections within our city. To work with other businesses to see our city and community grow and flourish. As anyone who has started a business knows, it takes roughly 1-3 years to crawl out of the debt created when starting a business! Well our three year mark was around when the first round of lockdowns happened in Canada. Crippling to all small businesses. Open, close, open, close, open, close. A steady cycle. Fear of being shut down if we opened and an “inspection” did not pass someones opinion constantly looming. Let’s do our part and just shut down and take the studios virtual. Attendance dropped over 60% when we transitioned to virtual classes. That meant revenue dropped 60% as well. Landlords not working with us, no assistance from the governments despite them mandating the lockdowns. So we borrowed money, as this pandemic wont last that long. Wrong. $250,000 in debt to pay commercial leases, and software contracts over one year. Still no help from governments. We will pay you back if you keep people employed (CEWS program in Canada). We will pay you a percentage of your rent if you keep renting (CERS program in Canada). Just keep digging the hole and all will be well. We will get through this together they say as the Federal government votes on wage increases for themselves. And that is where I sit today. I wish the easter bunny would have brought news of being able to reopen our business’s again. Thank you for listening.
Publisher’s note: The opinions and findings expressed in articles, reports and interviews on this website are not necessarily the opinions of PANDA, its directors or associates.
Trent Bellamy – CANADA