The Coronavirus is hitting small businesses hard and we want to make sure that we provide timely communications and support in any way possible.

We need to communicate the enormity of the situation retailers and small businesses are facing. Most of our members have nine or fewer employees, therefore classified as micro businesses. Micro businesses account for three quarters of private sector employers.

One way is to tell your stories, collate some figures, and spread the word to the public and to elected officials. Thank you to everyone who answered our short survey, sharing how your business is being impacted and how you are coping and changing your operations.

We have collated the responses so far and included the charts below, split by restaurant/coffee shop/café and retail/small business.

Retail & Small Business

109 responses were collected from local retailers and small businesses. Events are either being postponed or canceled by many retailers and small businesses. Staff hours are being reduced, business hours changed, and focusing more of their efforts on social media.

Coronavirus retail impact chart

Restaurants/Coffee Shops/Cafés

To continue serving their customers amid the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants, coffee shops & cafés are using innovative solutions to remain open. Among other things, many are taking online and phone orders, limiting the number of people who can enter the premises at one time, adding curbside pickup and/or delivery. Unfortunately, many are having to close their dining areas, reduce staff hours, cancel events, and change their business hours. 15 responses were received from this demographic.

Coronavirus Restaurant Impact Chart

If you have any questions relating to this survey, please contact Kylie Ross Sibert at (757) 455 9323 or email

I worked so hard to start my business I put every dime I had in savings and my business is not even 2 years old I have no capital to sustain my business in this pandemic … I really don’t know what I can do. I need help and guidance.

Small Business Owner, Small Business <2 years old

We are a business that functions month to month not being open means we can not pay our bills. We understand the reason. Most of our clients are high risk and we want them safe, but that will not pay our bills unfortunately.

Small Business Owner, Art Studio

We made the decision to close our store because we wanted to do everything we could to stop the potential spread of this virus. Many of our customers are seniors and are the most vulnerable. And we had to think of the safety of our staff and our own families. We will continue to hold on each day and hope that we will get some help financially to get us through the coming days so that we can reopen when it is safe to do so and again serve our community!

Small Business Owner, Boutique Clothing

The SBA offering low interest loans is of no help to a small business right now. Grants would be more helpful. By offering a brick to someone sinking is counterproductive and only benefits them. We run on a lean budget and without people coming through the doors it can take months and months to recover from being closed just a couple weeks. If it lasts longer who knows the impact it can have. We may be forced to close for good.

Small Business Owner, Boutique Store

We are literally adapting our plans hourly. Our team morale is good. We are looking forward to offering new flavors and fulfilling all the fundraisers that are live at this time. We may have to close temporarily if sales do not stay at a sufficient level.

Small Business Owner, Franchise Owner