We’ll get through this together… Sure. But meanwhile, what can we do to prepare for a running start, when we get the go-ahead, maybe not exactly to get back to normal, but at least back to work? One thing’s for sure, at ESI, we never stop thinking. We’re thinking about our colleagues and friends in the beauty industry, and the many repercussions of COVID-19 on our businesses. And like in any other situation, we’re convinced that a little positive attitude goes a long way to find ways to ensure that our business can grow and survive this crisis. I want to take this opportunity to invite you to join the ESI Community, our new social media platform exclusively developed for beauty professionals. You’ll be able to take part in discussions with professionals who, like you, have to deal with problems caused by the pandemic. So, how can you find a positive side to the current situation? While you’re waiting to get back to work, why not take this time to look into the various ways you can keep in touch with your clients? Social media is a good option. If you can’t open your doors, you can still offer virtual services such as tips on skincare, or reminders to your followers that you’re still there to provide them with their products, even if they can’t come to you to get them. Now’s the time to make your presence known on social media. If you have an emailing list, you can also use this communication tool to create an e-newsletter, or a series of emails containing tips and tricks to handle various skin conditions. There are ways to remain top of mind with your clients until you can finally welcome them in person — with the proper sanitary measures, of course. Keeping a positive attitude also means thinking about how you can make your premises perfectly safe in preparation for the return of your clients. From rethinking your interior design, to adding personal protection equipment for your staff and disinfecting products for your clients, all this planning will help you get through this tough situation and come out of it as winners, as soon as you open! Bernard Renaud
Update! Great News! The Canadian Emergency Business Account will now provide up to $40,000 in government-guaranteed loans to businesses that had payrolls last year between $20,000 and $1.5 million. It previously offered loans to business with a narrower range of payrolls, between $50,000 and $1 million. Log on to your banking institution’s website or contact them today. This $40,000 interest-free loan, guaranteed by the Federal government, is meant to help you cover operation costs you can’t postpone because of COVID-19. If you reimburse $30,000 of the $40,000 loan by December 31, 2022, you won’t have to reimburse the remaining $10,000 (full exemption of 25% of the loan). If you cannot reimburse the loan by December 31, 2022, you will be able to extend the loan to December 31, 2025, with a fixed interest of 5%. This loan is guaranteed to banking institutions by the Federal government.
Did you know? Last Friday, the Quebec government announced new measures to support businesses impacted by repercussions of COVID-19. The Emergency Assistance Program for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses is meant for SMEs having financial difficulties because of this crisis, and who need working capital of less than $50,000. An initial amount of $150 million is made available to Quebec regional authorities (RCMs) to help businesses in their territories, “so that they are able to maintain, consolidate or revive their activities,” according to a press release. Businesses in all industries, including co-ops, non-profit and social economy businesses engaging in commercial activities may apply. For your information, regional county municipalities (RCMs) are administrative entities ensuring the regional management of local municipalities, which are grouped into supralocal communities each enjoying a power of jurisdiction and regulation devolved by the government of Quebec, in a territory designated under the name county. Contact your municipality about this assistance program to get the specifics about how to apply for it. Has anyone already contacted their municipality? If so, we’d appreciate you sharing your experience to help everyone in our beautiful industry get through these trying times and come out of it even stronger. Not from Quebec… Share with us your province’s financial aide programs so we may share with others!