A Word from the Chair
To our members, we will be here for you to the best of our abilities and resources.
We are in what seems like perilous times with no end in sight, but don’t panic. Canada, and the world, have been through many disasters, world wars, stock market crashes and pandemics (along with any number of combinations of these) in the past and we have bounced back.
I, myself am a business owner and am working my way through these times as you are, with two new business lines and hundreds of thousands of dollars just recently invested, I know your pain and the stresses you are feeling.
The board and staff at the Chamber are dedicated to helping business through this recent situation. We know that it would be naive to think all businesses will come out unscathed, so we will have to help one another as best we can.
That being said, here are some ideas that may help you in the days ahead:
1) Don’t panic, I can’t stress this enough. Once you do you’ve lost total control. Stop and take a breath. Take a break from social media from time to time, as there is so much negativity out there. Protect your mental wellbeing. Only share posts that you know come from credible sources, not opinions as facts.
2) Evaluate what you can do to mitigate your expenses and maintain revenue. This may come in the form of a different business model that may even work into the future, as things recover. Hey maybe there is a better way to run the business! Be open to new ideas.
3) Mange your cash flow. This is so important during times like this. You will obviously have to operate lean. Reduce as much as possible your variable expenses and work on covering your fixed costs. If you’re an operator and not an accountant, speak with your accountant as soon as possible. They are still taking calls, emails and may be working from home and are still able to help. At the very least, they can be someone to talk to about your situation.
4) Speak to your bank. I promise, they want you to remain a viable business. All credit unions and banks are ready to help to mitigate the possibility of a cash crunch on your business. You may have to look at moving to interest only and worst-case payment deferral, but this is still better than the alternative of bankruptcy. Remember, if you defer, your monthly interest will be added to your loan principal balance and will be that much more you will have to pay in the future.
5) If your business is one being forced to close during this crisis, government is rolling out options for you and your employees daily. Check out Government of Canada website and Canadian Chamber website for more information. The chamber will also be providing updates as we have them to inform our business community.
We can survive this, and we will prosper in the future. Please contact the Chamber if you have questions. We will help.
Blair van Veld
Pictou County Chamber of Commerce