Entrepreneurs must find priorities in new economy
- John Lagimodiere | March 25, 2020
Indigenous entrepreneurs have a lot on their mind right now. These are terrifying and stressful times for everyone. People sick. People off work. Businesses shuttered by law. The COVID-19 virus and ensuing pandemic is changing the world, and the economy is spiraling. And here, many business owners sit powerless in their homes worrying about their family, business, employees and whatever is coming in the future. And we have absolutely no control over that. None.
What you can control is what you do with your time and energy. You got to this place in business by working hard. Don’t stop doing that. There are lots of supports out there but the best advice I read came from Matt Vermette at Northern Research Group. He partnered with the Métis Nation - Saskatchewan and SMEDCO to provide a ten-point plan for entrepreneurs to follow as we deal with this economic blow and impending recession. Kudos to the partners for making this available.
Check out the link here.
Ten-point plan for Entrepreneurs
Also, the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business has drawn together a comprehensive list of resources available for Indigenous entrepreneurs across Canada.
Check out the link here.
Resources available for Indigenous entrepreneurs
Many Indigenous people operate in the gig-based economy. Tourism, powwow and festival season. Cultural gigs, contract work and presentations. My main gig is delivering Indigenous awareness seminars to groups of 20 to 90 people at a time. In one room.
In three days, we lost at least 10% of our annual revenue. And I am not confident that the seminars booked for the end of April are actually going to happen. And what about May? June? Do we print a paper in April? Many of the places we deliver to are closed. Schools. Friendship Centres. Government offices. Another danger is people cutting advertising in a recession. What about the people that work for us? My family? My mortgage?
Instead of having anxiety over an unknown future, I am focusing on what I can control day by day. We have talked to our credit union about mortgage payments. We have budgeted worse case scenarios several months ahead to measure cash flow and expenses. Our friends at Clarence Campeau Development Fund even proactively offered to stop all of their client’s payments for a couple months, including ours. We are watching costs. We are hustling on the side of our business that is active. Researching government supports for businesses and their employees. We are all in this together. We will come through this. Everyone must do their part and that means staying home and physically distancing until we can be safe and healthy as a society again. Then we get back to business.
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