Being all these things gives me a unique, multisided perspective on the current pandemic situation.
As the part owner of small ice cream factory and retail store, my partners and I face a huge cut in revenue, but no cut in rent, utility costs, lease payments, and wages for the partners who run and rely on the business. We need help.
As a commercial landlord, I have small businesses as some of my customers. I am the one charging them rent when their revenue is down or, in some cases, gone altogether. I need most of that rent to cover mortgage payments and operating costs. They need help, or I need help to help them.
As a board member of two non-profits, I have no immediate worries. Both have strong financial situations. I do worry about their future funding in a downturned economy and from governments that are going to have to figure out how to pay back the stimulus money that is required right now. Both are good in the short term, but have long term concerns now.
As part owner of the Inclusion System – software for managing people in the community social service sector – I feel okay. These are essential services and we do important, cost effective, work for them. Our growth will slow down through this crisis, but the future looks okay.
As part owner of IBEX Payroll, I am worried for our small business customers. We are seeing layoffs at a level we have never seen. Some businesses are slowing way down, some stopping altogether, and many worried owners may lose it all if they are not supported through this.
The most pressing need I see is for no interest, no payment (for now) loans for small businesses to help tide them over and support for workers left with no income. I hope these are on the way for all those I lead and serve.