Pleased to join Elmer Kim and Michael Serapio of CBC News Network to answer viewer questions about business in times of COVID19.
These are difficult times for business leaders, and although numerous support programs have been announced, it can be challenging to understand the details and implications. Here are a few things to keep in mind as we continue to navigate through this unprecedented period:
- Accept the fact that these are challenging days. The Federal and Provincial governments have released a lot of information about programs to help business and individuals; this can be overwhelming. Try to focus in on the areas that pertain to your situation, “one bite at a time”. As questions arise, be sure to write them down so that you have a record at hand of areas that you want to discuss and clarify.
- Connect with others. Remember that a local, national, and global business community is going through the challenges of COVID19; you are not alone and do not have to navigate through this in isolation (OK, you might be in your house, but you can still connect with others). Reach out to business owners, industry and professional associations, and advisors for help, as they can bring meaningful context and answers (strength in numbers is a good thing).
- Speak up when overlooked. If you feel that your situation is not being addressed by the current support programs, contact your MP and government to voice your concerns. Do not assume that they understand what it is like to be in business or how/why a gap in support programs is a problem; be prepared to spell it out, in plain language and with examples (quantifying the financial and job implications can be particularly helpful).
- Expect more to come. These are fluid times, and although each day might seem like a month or longer, governments are moving rapidly to help Canadians. We have seen support programs unfold on a daily and weekly basis, and although a good foundation is in place, there is more to do (areas that come to mind include addressing gaps in the areas of very small businesses, the self-employed, and mandating financial institutions to provide payment deferrals more broadly). This is why it is so important to speak up about gaps and shortfalls in the system.
- Look for opportunities to reinvent. Turbulent times bring opportunity, as the shell of yesterday breaks open to reveal a new tomorrow. What could this mean for your business, in the present and future? Look to companies who have already started to do this, such as manufacturers who have adapted and retooled to produce what is desperately needed in this moment, and then, look beyond that. Companies are using this time to consider the new path forward; advisors can help.
It’s my pleasure to answer your questions; keep them coming and hopefully we can chat again soon. In the meantime, stay well and look for the silver linings in your world.