Briones: Many small businesses have fallen through gaps in government support

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We have had enough.

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Small business owners are running out of money – our morale is down, our sales are down, and we’re on the verge of losing our minds (and our businesses).

As part of the modified second stage of the reopening of the province, restaurants, bars, gymnasiums, sports and cinemas – among other businesses – find themselves once again in the position of having to shut down restaurants inside and even their doors. , while many others are forced to reduce their capacity by 50 percent for at least three weeks.

Good year. It will be the last nail in many coffins.

We see coverage of the suffering of restaurants and bars, and we are, but the media and provincial grants have overlooked a lot of other types of businesses that have fallen through the cracks. Firms that have not been mandated to downsize are therefore not eligible for subsidies, but suffer the repercussions of low consumer confidence and bottlenecks.

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Recently, I publicly asked such companies on social media to contact me. I always try to sift through the hundreds of messages I have received.

Local farmers who produce microgreens and whose main customers are restaurants – they are not eligible for the latest provincial grants, but their sales are drastically down or zero. Professional photographers and photo booth services who rely on special events for a living – they don’t qualify, but their bookings plummeted overnight. Independent travel consultants who had to cancel reservations without making a dime. Residential duct cleaning companies that do not have reservations due to a lack of supply chain and consumer confidence; family day care centers with available spaces – unheard of due to parents working from home or fearful of infections.

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Sales forces representing the services needed to go door-to-door. Local horse stables, event rental companies, birthday party companies, event marketing professionals, unable to travel international business consultants, body shops and mechanics, the list goes on and on.

Not a single penny in this latest round of government aid for them. Zero. Nothing.

The media – myself included – have done a terrible job of highlighting these companies. The government has done a terrible job to help them.

All of these businesses started because the owners wanted to carve out their own futures and decide how they put food on their tables. The worst thing you can do to a contractor is to take away that control – and that is what the government seems to be doing. By making these unilateral decisions, they rob us of our ability to dictate our future.

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This loss of control is debilitating and humiliating. Our future is at the mercy of politicians. Incredible.

Again, for those who need to be careful: we don’t have cushy paychecks. We don’t have a pension plan. We do not have access to employment insurance. We do not have an HR department where we can file a complaint.

When does the “cure” become worse than the disease?

We are fed up, we are angry. Other businesses slipped through the cracks of any medium are disillusioned, hanging on a thread, or about to bend.

To politicians making unilateral decisions without consulting the business community: All small businesses need more support. Not in two weeks or a month. We need it now.

Karla Briones is a local immigrant entrepreneur and owner of Global Pet Foods Kanata & Hintonburg; Freshii Westboro; founder of the Immigrants Developing Entrepreneurs Academy; and an independent business consultant. The opinions here are his. His column appears every two weeks.

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