Local businesses being impacted by Covid-19

April 3, 2020, 11:00 am
Rob Paul

Kari Kosier, owner of Kari's Kloset, working from behind closed doors at her business in Moosomin

The impact Covid-19 has had on businesses throughout Canada has been vast, with many making adjustments to stay open and many more closing down.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has been conducting weekly surveys of small businesses to look at just how detrimental Covid-19 has been to them.

Of the over 11,000 businesses they surveyed, 60 per cent said they’ve seen a significant drop in sales.
Every province is beginning to take major steps to stop Covid-19 from spreading before it reaches the level it has in other countries.

In many provinces all non-essential businesses have been ordered to close to fight the spread of Covid-19.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has implemented strict measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

These measures have impacted the businesses that remain open during the Covid-19 crisis.

Moe has ordered all restaurants, nightclubs, bars, food courts, cafeterias, cafes, and bistros to close.

They can still offer takeout as long as the two-metre distancing rule stays intact.

Other businesses Moe has ordered to close are fitness centres, casinos, theatres, personal services facilities like hairdressers and cosmetologists, and dentist offices except for non-elective procedures.

Local businesses throughout Saskatchewan have had to close their doors and making modifications to operate in some capacity.

Brazen Clothing
“We closed down after last week because we’re non-essential,” said Cherish Easton, owner of Brazen Clothing. “I laid off all my employees until further notice.”

“I go to work every day still with limited hours because we have a website so we’re trying to push that now,” said Easton.

Easton says the federal government is beginning to step up for small businesses, but more needs to be done or there will be mass closures.

“It’s good they’re trying to help with loan payments, but for the ones that don’t have that and still don’t have cash flow, I haven’t seen much there,” said Easton. “I’d like to see something for that because lots of businesses are going to close if they can’t have some kind of cash flow.”

“We’re in trouble because a lot of the small businesses that pay into the taxes in the country could be forced to shut their doors, it’s going to make a huge impact,” said Easton.

When the Covid-19 pandemic began to spread through Canada, Easton says she knew she had to do her part to fight it by closing her doors.

“It was really important to get out ahead of this and get on board so there’s not people out spreading it around,” said Easton.

Kari’s Kloset
Kari Kosior, owner of Kari’s Kloset, says she had to quickly adjust with the rapid progress of Covid-19 in Canada.

“I decided to close the doors last Friday and I’ve had to kind of adapt to some new ways of business and focus on my online business through Facebook, Instagram, and my website,” said Kosior.

Kosior says it wasn’t easy to close her doors, but she knew she had to do something to fight the spread of the virus.

“It was very important to close our doors,” said Kosior. “It’s a huge risk, but I didn’t have an option, I had to do it, it’s my part to help flatten the curve.”

The entire situation can be overwhelming says Kosior, but she’s remaining as hopeful as she can be.

“Honestly it’s taking it day-by-day, week-by-week hoping this goes quick,” said Kosior. “The longest I hope my doors need to stay closed is one month.”

“I’ve got to make the most of the doors being closed and take this opportunity to get caught up in all the behind-the-scenes duties and hope for the best.”

“I’ve got to hope that I have enough business online and support from my customers and just hope and pray this is short-lived,” said Kosior. “It’s just so strange.”

As for what the federal government has done for small businesses, Kosior says they need to do more.

“I think the CFIB and the Conservatives are fighting for them to increase the wage subsidy,” said Kosior. “That’s really important.”

“I’m keeping one of my staff members on and I hope I can keep her on for the time being while the doors need to be closed,” said Kosior.

Community support is key to getting through these hard times says Kosior. She believes Canada can rebound.

“We’re all in this together and I absolutely believe we can come back from this,” said Kosior. “We’re in such a great community and our community is very progressive and I’m so grateful for that.”

“It’s going to be some tough times ahead, but like everything, it’s a cycle,” said Kosior. “I’m confident we will come back from this, Canada as a whole.”

Cork and Bone
The suddenness of Covid-19 has been hard for Cork and Bone owner Jarrod Slugoski with his restaurant that opened less than six months ago.

“I’m a brand new business in town so this is pretty harsh beginnings,” said Slugoski. “It definitely puts me back a bit.”

Slugoski recently had to temporarily close his restaurant and no longer offers delivery because of the potential of Covid-19.

“I had to lay off my workers and close my doors,” said Slugoski. “We had to shut down completely, my workers just didn’t feel safe anymore and at that point you have to listen.”

Despite the closure of his restaurant, Slugoski says he will use the time to prepare for a return when Covid-19 is over.

“I’m going to take this opportunity to reset and that’s all I can really do,” said Slugoski. “Take the last six months of being in operation and figure out what the best practice will be moving forward.”

Covid-19 has already impacted so much of Canada and Slugoski doesn’t think things will ever return to what they were before the pandemic.

“Even if everything gets back to normal on June 1, nobody will have been working and nobody will have any money,” said Slugoski. “There’s a long wait and I just hope I can weather that storm. We’re living in a moment of history that will forever change the way we live,” said Slugoski. “Nothing is ever going to be the same after this and people need to be prepared for that.”

Slugoski has been happy with the leadership he has seen from the federal government during an uncertain time.

“In the light of what’s going on I think they’re doing the right thing in making sure people are being looked after the best they can,” said Slugoski.

Going forward in Moosomin, Slugoski says the community will need to come together to get through this.

“Moosomin is going to need the community more than ever,” said Slugoski. “The idea of community is going to be really important moving forward and I hope everybody is ready to pitch in.”