“You are not Alone”:
From One Small Business Owner to Another
By Mariann Roberts, Staff Writer
During the current COVID-19 emergency, many of us feel like we are in a whirlwind of uncertainty. We are all wondering how far the spread of the virus will go, and what this will mean for the future of our business.
If you are feeling anxious and overwhelmed during this time, you are not alone. Small business owners across the city, the province, the country and the world are with you in solidarity. We spoke to a few small business owners across Edmonton to hear their stories during the current pandemic.
“If I have to shut down my business completely it will cripple me. My business is my life, and if I don’t work I don’t get paid. There [are] no sick days, no EI, no backup plan for what I do other than my own personal savings. [It’s] just a bit of a rough time right now for so many people, and [I] hope the government can keep up with what they are offering to help. I think some small businesses that are just making it by as of right now, this may be the sink or swim kind of time. And it’s really unfortunate how much this is affecting the world. But on the same hand, we need to do what’s right for the health of the country and world right now. And as much as this is going to have a huge effect on my life, I agree it’s what needs to be done to help with the containment of the virus,”
-Katelyn Geldof, 31. Owner of Deadly Claws
“If I have to close, I will lose everything I have worked so hard for these past years and will struggle immensely due to the state of the economy and no employment available.
I don’t believe the 10% boost is enough. Being self-employed, I don’t qualify for EI due to many factors. Most of us are under the impression that we are on our own now. [We] are willing to do everything we can to earn your business and stay afloat during these difficult times,”
-Pam Schwarz, 26. Owner of Pinup’s Detailing, auto detailing and customization
“Luckily, I work with a really amazing group of people who understand small businesses and want to help out as much as possible. So, we’ve really deducted everything. We’ve turned into like a skeleton kind of thing. Times seem a little rough right now, but with the adjustments and people properly taking the right steps, if we handle this now then we won’t have to deal with this down the road. I always just tell people to stay calm, it will all get worked out in the end,”
-Orrey Rilling, 26. Owner of Natural Kitchen Delights (NKD)
“I think we are already losing lots of sales. Our suppliers are closing down. We let our staff go. We don’t have enough sales to keep the business [going as usual]. On top of that, we don’t know how long it will be like this. Small businesses usually don’t have a lot of capital or budget to pay without enough sales. It’s lots of burdens. We are struggling with uncertainty about the future.
This is my dream and passion. I’ve shared my passions and dreams with my customers by making their memories. I will not give up. I will do my best to keep my business and go back to normal one day. But this will be a hard fight and I can’t do without support. I understand everyone is having a hard time. But, I know we are not alone.
[I] hope we can go through this together to help each other, support, and encourage each other,”
-Kate Ko, 40. Owner of Tiny Zen Memory Jewellery