'I have too much to lose': Small business owners find creative ways to stay afloat
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Two very different businesses, are both taking new approaches to their work, to cope with the current pandemic lockdown.
After 20 years in business, Linda Innes, the owner of Linda’s Fashions refused to throw in the towel when the pandemic hit.
“I have spent many many years building this business, building this store, loving every minute of the store and this could not take me down. I have too much to lose.”
So on the advice of her grand-daughter, at the age of 62, Innes decided to take her work online.
“I don’t know anything about that. I’m old fashioned. I’m not great with the computer and the internet,” yet Innes produces three online fashion shows every week.
Innes says her customers responded.
“We were getting 200, 300 views and that’s just people watching then (during the Facebook live).”
Innes says business has been so strong, even during this third lockdown, she’s been able to keep three employees on the job.
“I had to do what i had to do to keep my business open and to keep these girls working.”
Employee Marie-Claire Coupal is one of Innes’ models, a new role she willingly fulfills.
“If businesses don’t step up and start reinventing themselves, they’re gonna fall flat on their faces.” She says.
In a completely different industry, restauranteur Nick Mountryvong admits “Things had been slowing.”
But he wanted to get his employees back to work so they moved their all-you-can-eat sushi promotion, outside.
“We wanted to kind of think outside the box and work around it so we decided we’re doing curbside takeout anyways, so why not do curbside all you can eat.”
Customers reserve a parking spot, place their repeated orders via text until they’re ready to “tap out” and settle the bill.
“Being able to sit outside for an hour to enjoy your food, rather than having something delivered to you and just eating it in your bedroom, or eating in your living room for a whole month.”
And, Mountryvong says his employees are happy to have more work to do.
“The employees are starting to lift their spirits in terms of being able to pick up more shifts, being able to work more.”