One of the first things we did when this all started coming down the wire was Google the definition of a “pandemic”. Not all infectious terms are created equal and we, collectively, have had to find the distinction between words like pandemic, epidemic, and outbreak. Experts say that the definition of each term can be fluid and change as diseases change, but one we can all agree is that the term pandemic is an epidemic that is spread over multiple countries or continents. Which means that it affects every single one of us. All of us. Not one of us is left untouched by the effects of the magnitude of this.
When we started Prairie Sister Productions, one of our goals was to keep things light. You may have noticed we don’t address things through this outlet that are heavy—that’s intentional. It’s mainly because we believe there is enough heaviness in the world already. This is not to say that we are blind to real issues or somehow are disillusioned enough to think they are not there. Both of us do not hesitate to share our experiences in different ways and since this goes way beyond us, we are going to share our experience as a small business during this time.
On a personal level, we make our decisions based on facts and try our best to navigate the uncertainty these changes bring to our daily lives. We see many people share funny memes, decide to live their lives under different levels of standards and cope in different ways.
We’ve seen a lot of changes to the way small and local businesses operate. They’re posting new hours; curbside pickup, ways to keep the kids entertained. Administration on every government level is dealing with unprecedented levels of panic, standards and health threats. We’ve also seen small businesses shrink into themselves as they fear the potential effect of continuing to operate. What would happen if they were to continue with the sale that they have been prepping for? They have ordered extra inventory in anticipation and sunk funds into an advertising campaign. Will people lambaste them online for being “insensitive” to the world’s economic temperature?
We had exciting plans for this summer. No doubt, you did too. What is the next appropriate move for our small businesses?
When you don’t know what to do, do what you know to do.
There is safety in comfort and in this time of uncertainty, great wisdom comes in sticking to your routines and keeping to your values.
Connect with small business supports in your community.
Most communities have small business and start up non-profits. They compile resources and provide support through many different avenues. Many of them are offering online counselling and specific meetings to help guide through this time.
Be aware of the health authority guidelines for your business, provincially and federally.
As we learn new information daily, it is helpful to pick a source that you trust. Make an effort to tune into that source, and then you may need to tune other sources out. It is too easy to be overwhelmed by the barrage of information and (usually) bad news.
Don’t get discouraged about future plans – plan them anyway.
We recently saw a quote that said “It is okay to mourn what you thought the next few months would bring.” Don’t be afraid to make plans, even though there is uncertainty. Take this time to prepare yourself and your business for the future.
Be creative in finding new ways to support and be supportive.
Everyone is really wondering what tomorrow will bring, and what better time than now to reach out to small businesses. Maybe you’ve been following them on social media for awhile, maybe you just discovered them through a recent post or picture. We are all finding ourselves with an increase of time on our hands, and many of us are spending some of that time online. Why not be purposeful in commenting, sharing, or messaging some of the small businesses that come across your feed? We are sure they would appreciate the support. creative in finding new ways to support and be supportive. Let’s remember, “the world you want after this is all over is the world you’re supporting now. Order everything from Amazon and that’s what will take over. Support your local businesses and you help them be part of The After.”
Everyone, including us, is just doing our best these days. And let us tell you, your best might look different than someone else’s but it is enough. Take care of yourself, take each day as it comes, and if you find yourself wanting to, feel free to reach out to us! We have been absolutely thrilled that you guys have been checking in, sending us your photos of past travels, and engaging with us online. That’s what Prairie Sister is all about!
If you have recently dusted off your colouring pencils like we have, you can download our free colouring sheets HERE.