Obviously the primary issue for our industry right now is managing through the current pandemic crisis. With so much uncertainty out there, we thought it would a good idea to gather some of the best information and resources together for you. These resources have been gathered as our best advice. It’s important to stay focused on reliable, credible information for the safety of your families, your business, your employees, your customers and your community. This is no time for speculation, rumour spreading, conspiracy theories or putting your head in the sand.
Be safe, be practical, be smart and be responsible.
1. Should your business be open?
Provinces and even municipalities are managing business operations differently. Check the websites for your Provincial Government and your Municipal Government for recommendations and updates.
Many businesses in our industry have opted to close their offices or stores and to move to online sales only to protect their staff and customers. Here are some examples of how retailers are handling business during this critical time.
While your response will be based on the size and location of your business, number of employees and customer traffic, social distancing and strict hand-washing hygiene is imperative for everyone!
2. Are there financial resources for small businesses?
The Federal and Provincial Governments are working to ease the financial stress on small businesses as quickly and effectively as possible. Here are a few of the tools already in place:
- Speak to your commercial insurance provider: you may be entitled to business interruption insurance payments. Call your provider to double check your entitlement.
- Employees who are quarantined or who are ordered to self-isolate due to COVID-19 are eligible for EI sick benefits. Employees should contact the new dedicated toll-free phone number if they are in quarantine and wish to waive the one-week EI sickness benefits waiting period so they can be paid for the first week of their claim: 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free).
- Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses
- Free Business Advisors from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)
3. Is the supply chain safe?
Trade goods have not been affected by border restrictions/closings. Many retailers are seeing dramatically increased sales of firearms and ammunition, it’s important to assure customers there are currently no issues with the supply chain. Unlike fishing products, the bulk of Canada’s firearms and ammunition are imported from the U.S. and trade goods between the U.S. and Canada will not be affected. While it may seem like a boon for business now, keep in mind the more you sell now, the less you will sell in the future. Do your best to pace your sales to avoid the boom-bust cycle. Here’s what CSAAA President Wes Winkel, owner of Ellwood Epps Sporting Goods in Orillia, Ontario is advising:
Wes Winkel, CSAAA on 640News Toronto (Audio)
4. The CSAAA is here to help.
If you need help getting the right information or business assistance, please get in touch directly, we are here to help! Email [email protected] or call 1-705-875-2302.
This email is being sent to current CSAAA members, but please share this with any small businesses in your community or network. The resources and information above are relevant to all business owners.