Business on the brink: A day in the life of a small-business owner

Most local businesses are suffering these days, and many will close permanently as a result of the COVID-19 lockdowns. These businesses are run by your friends and neighbours, and their loss would change Greater Victoria. We have asked local business people to describe what they are facing.

A commentary by the owner of Moe’s Victoria home furnishing store. 

I wake up every morning hoping this was all a bad dream, but Alexa tells me with her news updates during my morning coffee that this is actually my reality.

The day starts with me looking at emails as usual — the only difference is that there aren’t nearly as many.

I live a block from my store, so the walk over every day reminds me of what this pandemic has done. The streets are empty like it’s the middle of the night.

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I see and wave to my few fellow shopowners who are in their shops hoping for something, anything that will help keep us around.

I was sweeping the sidewalk the other day in front of my store, a spot once full of the hustle and bustle of daily shoppers doing their thing in Chinatown.

There was only one woman walking toward me on the entire street. As she passed, keeping her distance, she stopped and said:

“You know what … if anyone can get through this it’s the entrepreneur … keep sweeping.”

She was right. It’s because of our drive and work ethic that we’re here, trying new business practices every day to adapt and stay afloat.

The moral of this story is that before you pick up your phone and order whatever it is — give your local business a call. You’ll be surprised what we’ll do to help you.

We just want to keep sweeping.

We’re all in this together — more than ever, shop local!

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