5 tips to help your small business survive COVID-19
My name is Dan Kelly and I’m the president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), Canada’s largest organization dedicated to helping small businesses succeed. We’re 110,000 members strong and our work has never been more important than it is now.
In these difficult days, there are still some things you can do to get through the crisis:
- Take advantage of the support programs: There are a lot of new government programs that may be able to help your business. CFIB has been fighting hard to ensure that fewer firms slip through the cracks and that programs are expanded and extended. Many firms that didn’t qualify earlier in the pandemic now have access to support for wages, rent and interest free loans. I encourage you to check out our COVID-19-FAQ, to see what you could qualify for.
- Ask the experts: The new normal is evolving every day, and it can be hard to keep up with the changes. If you aren’t sure how to navigate a situation—whether it’s sanitizing your workplace, complying with regulations or managing employees—give our Business Counsellors a call. They’re experts on matters like HR, compliance and health & safety. You can reach them at 1-888-234-2232.
- Boost your online presence: Many of your regulars would love to come back to your business, but even with your safety precautions, some might not feel comfortable yet. There are many tools that let you interact with customers in new ways and companies that can help you get started, like Kijiji. Since COVID-19 began, Kijiji has given consumers more ways to find and shop at local businesses, and for those businesses to reach more customers. The Kijiji Village has a curated Shop Local Business section that connects communities with local shops offering options that limit exposure, like delivery or curbside pick-up.
- Save time—use templates: Need to recall an employee, announce new rules to customers or brush up on emergency plans? Don’t spend more time than you need to writing these documents from scratch. Instead, find a solid template that can do most of the work for you, saving you time and stress. We’ve compiled a list of templates tailored to new needs arising from the pandemic. You can download them for free.
- Join at least one of the great initiatives trying to help small business: We’ve launched a new campaign to rally Canadians around local business by reminding them to support a #SmallBusinessEveryDay. We’re providing free posters and digital tools to thank your customers for shopping local, and we’re launching a “Thank You” contest where a customer could win cash for themselves and their favourite local business! Visit http://www.smallbusinesseveryday.ca/ to learn more.
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Finally, CFIB has tried to open our doors to support as many businesses as possible. That’s why we’re offering a free, three-month trial so any business owner can have access to our savings programs, counsellors’ expertise and resources.
We hope you’ll consider joining, and know that we are standing by your side as we all get through this situation.