Small businesses face difficulties due to COVID-19

Ongoing Challenges: Chris Lade, a manager at Hayden Block restaurant, poses for a portrait on Jan. 27. The restaurant used to be crowded, but since the onset of COVID-19, business has slowed down. (Photo by Ngoc Man Loi/The Press)

Calgary small businesses have faced numerous difficulties since their second shut down due to the rise of COVID-19.

Since Dec. 13, 2020, small businesses such as nail salons, hair salons, tattoo shops, gyms and bars were required to be suspended temporarily, and restaurants must close their dine-in areas.

For more than a month before the order to reopen, small businesses have faced huge financial losses.

“We are not doing good, we are not making money. It sucks,” said Anna Simborio, a barber at Tommy Gun’s Original Barbershop.

“For a month and a half, we had no income coming in. It was completely shut down,” said Brittney Jones, a receptionist at Chelsea’s Nail Salon.

Although the restaurants were not required to be completely closed, they still suffered a lot in terms of sales. “Well, we’ve definitely lost money,” said Chris Lade, Hayden Block pub manager. “It’s definitely gone down because we can’t be opened.”

On Jan 18, 2021, Alberta had a reopening order for wellness and personal services such as esthetics, manicure, pedicure, make-up, piercing and tattoos. Some businesses are allowed to reopen and start earning income again, but they still have certain restrictions.

According to Jones, salons are not allowed to accept any walk-in customers and people have to book an appointment instead. Also, the amount of customers is limited in her salon, as spacing and usual sanitization are necessary for this time.

Even though Tommy Gun’s Barbershop has been open for more than a week, they couldn’t have the same number of customers and income resources as they had before COVID-19.

In the restaurant sector, they are still able to maintain revenue through online orders. However, in order not to lose sales compared to before, Lade described that they have to advertise on social media as much as they can to keep a connection with their customers.

During this tough time, the government has provided many different programs for different types of businesses, such as Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP).

New Normal: Anna Simborio, a barber at Tommy Gun’s, poses for a portrait on Jan. 27. Due to the current pandemic, everyone is required to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Ngoc Man Loi/The Press).
About Mandy Loi 5 Articles
As a news reporting and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Mandy Loi is working as a writer for The Press during the 2021 academic year.