businessNOW™ is the most comprehensive weekly round-up of business and organizational news and events from Peterborough and across the Kawarthas.
The week’s businessNOW is a special edition focusing on how the Peterborough-area business community is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our feature story this week is Kyla Gutsche of Cosmetic Transformations in Peterborough who, despite having the continued viability of her business threatened by COVID-19, is donating her company’s medical supplies to Peterborough Regional Health Centre to help front-line health care workers keep safe while fighting the pandemic.
Also featured is a call out for regional manufacturers and businesses to help meet the demand for COVID-19 medical supplies, Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area launching a new website to support locally owned businesses through the pandemic, and a virtual workshop series launched by Peterborough’s economic development organizations so businesses can continue to receive valuable training and information remotely.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, no new business events have been added this week, and previously listed business events have ether been cancelled or postponed. Some local business events are being delivered online instead; see kawarthaNOW’s new Virtual Events.
Kyla Gutsche of Cosmetic Transformations in Peterborough donates her medical supplies to Peterborough Regional Health Centre
Kyla Gutsche, owner and operator of Cosmetic Transformations in Peterborough, is one of the many entrepreneurs in the Kawarthas who is worried about the continued viability of her business due to the COVID-19 pandemic — but that hasn’t stopped her from supporting the community.
Cosmetic Transformations is a celebrated cosmetic and medical micropigmentation company that can enhance or restore features people have lost due to illness, trauma, surgery, or the aging process. Due to the nature of her company’s services, she has always had copious amounts of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies on hand.
Now that her business has been forced to close until mid-July to protect immuno-suppressed staff, Kyla just donated six months’ worth of PPE and medical items — including gloves, sterile gloves, masks, isolation gowns, and bonnets — to front-line health care workers at Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC).
Kyla is also urging all tattoo businesses and other personal service businesses that have been forced to shut down due to COVID-19 to do the same.
Kyla tells kawarthaNOW she doesn’t know if her own business will survive the COVID-19 pandemic, but she’s still looking out for workers in her industry.
She’s launched an online petition at change.org to pressure the government to support tattoo artists and personal service workers who are self-employed and and rely on clients’ appointment fees to pay both work and home bills.
Government funding programs for COVID-19 business relief have so far are focused on support for employers and their employees who qualify for employment insurance, not support for the self-employed. However, The federal government’s new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (this replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit) will be available for workers who do not qualify for employment insurance. It will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to four months. Application details will be available through My CRA and My Service Canada in early April.
Peterborough-area manufactures and businesses encouraged to help meet demand for medical supplies
The day after Kyla Gutsche of Cosmetic Transformations donated all of her medical supplies to Peterborough Regional Health Centre, Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED) issued a call for local manufacturers to retool if they can to help meet the need for urgent medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
PKED is also encouraging businesses to consider donating from their inventory of medical products and supplies to help local health agencies, frontline healthcare workers, and other essential service workers to combat the spread of COVID-19 while protecting their own health and safety.
“There is a need for the region’s talented and innovative manufacturers and businesses to provide the necessary assistance to curb COVID-19 in this crucial time for our city, province, country, and the globe,” says PKED president and CEO Rhonda Keenan.
In particular, Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) is in need of protective gloves (nitrile only), N95 masks (with NIOSH of CE), ear loop masks (ASTMF2100-11, L2 rating or greater), ear loop masks with attached face shields, protective gowns (AAMI, L2 rating or greater), hand sanitizer (minimum 70% ethanol or 60%-70% isopropyl alcohol), and full-face shields with foam.
Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area launches website to support locally owned businesses
With many locally owned businesses in downtown Peterborough temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) is doing what it can to support them.
Many of downtown stores, restaurants, cafés, pubs and services are closing temporarily. While many local businesses are adapting to support customers online, their expenses don’t stop when the lights are turned off and the door is locked. Rent and utilities must still be paid, along with the wages of any employees who are continuing to work.
The DBIA has launched supportdowntownptbo.ca, a new website where people can buy gift cards and certificates from 59 downtown Peterborough businesses. By purchasing gift cards and certificates you can help businesses with their cash flow needs to cover current expenses. This helps give locally owned businesses a little breathing space until they can fully reopen.
If you purchase gift cards and certificates from supportdowntownptbo.ca, they will be mailed (or emailed if electronic) to you.
Peterborough economic development organizations launch virtual workshops for businesses
Five economic development organizations in Peterborough — Community Futures Peterborough, Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA), Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas, and the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, collectively known as “TeamPTBO” — have developed a virtual workshop series for businesses in the region.
The free series, intended to help local businesses deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, is available online via Zoom remote conferencing for up to 100 participants. Based on the Innovation Cluster’s regular Hands-ON workshop model, the webinars will feature experts relevant to the current crisis.
“This workshop series will ensure that businesses have the information they need to make educated decisions during these times,” says Innovation Cluster president John Gillis. “Many of the shifts will create long-term disruption that will shape our local businesses for years to come.”
Workshops will cover general topics such as intellectual property, marketing, and cash flow, but also include workshops specifically focused on how businesses are operating around the current COVID-19 situation. All businesses in Peterborough and the City of Kawartha Lakes will have access to the workshops in the series.
Two workshops have already taken place this week, with two more scheduled in April and more to come:
- “Branding and Marketing for Your Small Business”, featuring Madeleine Hurrell from Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1st.
- “Business Planning and Utilizing the Business Model Canvas”, featuring Madeleine Hurrell from Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Monday, April 6th.
For these and other virtual events for business and more, check out kawarthaNOW’s new Virtual Events column.
Due to COVID-19, most business organizations have either cancelled or postponed upcoming events, including meetings and workshops, during March and into April. Business events will return to businessNOW when restrictions on public gatherings have been lifted. Some local business events are being delivered online instead. See kawarthaNOW’s new Virtual Events.