Jeff Bray is the executive director of the Downtown Victoria Business Association. (rickcollinsphotography.com)

COLUMN: Resiliency a hallmark of small business owners

Jeff Bray

Downtown Victoria Business Association

Resiliency. It is a word that conjures up different images for people. For small business owners and operators, it is often the difference between surviving, thriving, and closing the doors. This is what we see from the small businesses around the decimated Plaza Hotel in downtown Victoria.

The devastating fire had, and continues to have, a significant impact on the businesses in and around Pandora, Johnson and Government streets. For some, it meant closing their doors for a few days while the smoke cleared and the street was re-opened. For others, the doors to their businesses remain closed for a week, their employees missing valuable shifts. A few remain closed.

The DVBA has reached out to these businesses to gauge the impact this event is having. Many of the businesses that reopened have noticed significant reduction in traffic due to the closure of the sidewalk. For those that had damage or lost inventory, their insurance will not make up the difference. I remain in awe over how resilient these business owners are.

They are not blaming anyone for this situation. They are not looking for pity. For these business owners, their two biggest concerns are their staff and their customers. Make no mistake, the Plaza Hotel fire made a huge impact, and the stress is real. Many will not take a salary but will keep staff working even though business is slower. These owners will still pay their suppliers on time, pay their rents, their mortgages, PST and GST remittances, property tax, health employers’ tax, telephone and hydro bills, and so on.

Heidi Sherwood’s Sattva Spa on Government Street may be closed for up to a year due to major water and structural damage caused by the fire. Some of the impacted staff are working out of Heidi’s second downtown location: Sapphire Day Spa on View Street. Heidi remains focused on the road ahead and the reopening of the spa. And her top priority is supporting her staff and providing space centred around self-care and stress management.

So how can you help? Take the time to come to the shops and restaurants on Government, Pandora and Johnson streets. Make a choice to have a meal in this area, grab a coffee or tea, buy a yoga pass, treat yourself to a new article of clothing or buy a toy. Spend a morning or afternoon at the Sapphire Day Spa, knowing it supports employees impacted by the fire. It is one way community supports community.

Jeff Bray is the executive director for the Downtown Victoria Business Association.

Just Posted

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VicPD investigates stabbing near Selkirk Montessori school

Victim in potentially life-threatening condition

New wing opens at Victoria International Airport

The 19,000 sq. ft. passenger lounge can hold up to 500 people

Realtor pitches Langford’s third retail cannabis store

Local business owner Ron Cheeke prepares to open Honeycomb Cannabis

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

Island contestant competes on Great Canadian Baking Show

Andrea Nauta auditioned for the show before but was lucky second time around

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Most Read