Brothers Ryan and Russell Mascarenhas had just opened their new barber shop Goldwyn & Sons on March 2 before they were forced to close due to COVID-19. “To help prevent the spread of the virus, we decided to temporarily shut down the shop before we were mandated to,” says Ryan, the business manager/owner.
In the weeks since, he says he’s learned to “be in the here and now” and accept the current reality. As a result, he’s been able to spend time with his wife, keep in touch with family here and abroad, engage in hobbies like drawing, reading, exercising and learning new languages and, most importantly to him, spend more time in prayer.
What else the brothers have done:
- Reviewed their business plan to ensure the business is aligned with their vision
- Reduced utilities expenses and deferred payments on as many monthly expenses as possible
- Revised their marketing plans allocating a larger portion of working capital to digital campaigns to ensure they can hit the ground running when they re-open
- Followed government funding announcements, but are still figuring out how or if they qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or the newly announced Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (April 16)
- Talked to their bank about the Canada Emergency Business Account $40,000 small business loan with 1-year interest free (expansions announced on April 16)
- Also took Russell, who is the barber/owner, off the payroll. “The loss of income is starting to get us antsy about any upcoming bills.”
- Delayed hiring other staff
“When all this is said and done, and when my brother and I succeed in this business, we can tell our future kids: ‘Did you know, we started our business on the advent of a pandemic!?,” Ryan says. “This is a historic moment. Though it is a difficult time for everyone, I believe it will make us stronger and more appreciative of our loved ones, our neighbours, our health care workers, our government workers, and all the more thankful for the great country we live in.”
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