While the pandemic is showing some signs of slowing down, the damage to the economy and to many small businesses has already been done. In fact, reports show that close to two thirds of small businesses in Toronto could close permanently in the next three months.
Small businesses have always been the backbone of the economy. To have so many small businesses close at the same time would be devastating to the economy. While the government has provided emergency relief measures, it might prove to be insufficient for many small business owners.
At Workholler we’re trying to do what we can to help Employers and Employees by providing services at discounted price and working with our suppliers to help them through this difficult time. We would also like to pass forward any kind gestures that we receive and we encourage you to do the same. To all those working on the front lines, and those doing what they can to help others, your kind gestures are a testament to the triumph of the human spirit. Thank you.
Employers Can Help
- Understand times are tough for employees. Ask your employees to see which ones can afford to have reduced hours, or to take their vacations, in order to allow those that cannot afford reduced pay to remain employed full-time.
- Check up on your employees regularly to let them know the situation with the business, and to see if they are doing ok. Small gestures of kindness will go a long way.
- Instead of layoffs, try to see if reduced hours could work for the team. Most people would prefer to stay employed, even at reduced hours, rather than go on EI.
- When the business re-opens, bring back your team at their original salaries. Do not use this pandemic as an excuse to shake up the team, or to extract concessions from your employees. They deserve better.
- Try to work with your employees to create a solution that works for everyone as much as possible. If it’s not possible to satisfy everyone’s needs, try to point them to government resources and provide any support they need in applying for EI, government grants, loans or even a new job. Small gestures matter and you can look yourself in the mirror with the satisfaction that you have tried your best.
Employees Can Help
- Understand the employers are in a tough spot as well. This pandemic has affected businesses as much as it did workers.
- Talk to your employer and co-workers. Offer to help if you can, it doesn’t have to be monetary help, any small gesture of kindness will go a long way.
- Manage expectations. It will take time for things to go back to normal. That could mean reduced pay for a little while, maybe you could chip in a bit more with helping the business re-open. Perhaps check in on co-workers to see if everyone is ok. Check in on your boss too.
- Remember that business owners are just people too, with their own families and challenges to deal with. So treat them with kindness and understanding.
I have no doubt that together we can get through these difficult times. We will triumph over this and we will be stronger for it. In the meantime, let’s all show a little kindness to each other, and help those in need to get through the tough times. Stay safe!