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Thoughts on Re-opening your Business by Dan Kelly

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Dan Kelly, President, CEO, and Chair, CFIB

Dan Kelly serves as President, Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Board of Governors of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). In this capacity, Dan is the lead spokesperson and advocate for the views of the Federation’s 110,000 small and medium-sized member businesses.


1. How can businesses smooth the transition of reopening their business in the coming weeks or months?  

We can expect a messy recovery phase as businesses begin to reopen.  CFIB has prepared a Back to Business Kit that can be used by all small firms as they restart their operations. It includes answers to many questions and is customized to comply with the rules in each province.  Small firms need to know how to recall workers, how to maximize the benefits of all the support programs, and what safety procedures will be required along the way.  In addition to our kit, we’ve made our one on one business counseling service available to all small business owners regardless of whether they are or are not a member of CFIB. They can be reached at 1888-234-2232.


2. What are the differences between business operations pre and post-COVID and what is your advice to small businesses adapting to the new normal?

Many small firms have had to innovate in a big hurry in order to respond to the COVID emergency. Some of these modifications will serve them well in the future.  Almost a quarter of small firms have moved forward in adopting a digital presence, including e-commerce capacity.  This will help.  Others can expect more employees to look to continue to work from home – this can create new opportunities and costs savings, but can be complicated if not done right.  Many firms can expect social distancing to continue to hurt their ability to operate for the medium-term. I’m hoping some of the innovations and investments small business owners are making will help them attract new customers along the way.

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