Staples Canada has always supported small businesses, and with entrepreneurs preparing to reopen and rebuild, The Working and Learning Company has significantly increased its support in the areas they need most: access to the right resources, tools, savings, expert advice and access to financial support. These initiatives aim to help small businesses navigate their new reality.

According to a recent survey commissioned by Staples Canada, 78% of small businesses in Canada reported a drop in sales since the onset of COVID-19, with 47% reporting a steep 50%-100% drop in sales. 22% of small businesses in Canada reported a 100% drop in sales since the onset COVID-19 due to a halt in operations. In fact, 43% of all small businesses said they don’t feel confident that their business will be back to pre-COVID-19 levels a year from now. Of the small businesses that saw a decline in sales, more than half (55%) said they don’t feel confident that their business will be back to pre-COVID-19 levels a year from now. The survey also found 35% report that they feel worse about the prospects of their business over the next year compared to the current situation.

As the Canadian economy begins to reopen, 32% of small businesses in Canada reported needing assistance with safety measures, followed by finances (28%), marketing support (19%), refocusing their business (18%), community/networking (14%) and workspace equipment such as furniture or products at 11%. According to the survey, 67% of Canadians small businesses reported not having received any financial assistance since the onset of COVID-19. The survey also found that 57% estimated that they would need some sort of financial assistance to continue successfully operating in the future.

The survey also revealed 44% of small businesses reported facing a variety of technology and tech support challenges, including digital marketing (19%), ecommerce (13%) and their other online offerings, including their website with 17%. Small businesses also noted that workplace and employee safety (21%) were also a current challenge.

As part of a series of initiatives to support small businesses, Staples Canada has launched a Small Business Headquarters (SBHQ) at staples.ca/SmallBusinessHQ. The only digital platform of its kind, it is a resource to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). SBHQ offers comprehensive resources on health and safety information, helpful information on external business funding and loans, tax relief programs, and much more. 

Smarter Business Financing™

This new financing platform helps Canadian entrepreneurs discover the right path to finance their business, taking the guesswork out of finding the best financing solution to fuel their growth. In three simple steps, the Smarter Business Financing™ platform recommends the most appropriate financial lender specific to the customer’s needs in under three minutes. Through financing providers Lendified, Merchant Growth and FundThrough, Smarter Business Financing™ offers customers financing solutions from $5,000 to $500,000, along with unique benefits like discounted origination fees to help Canadian small businesses save time and money.

Continuous Learning

Staples Canada is ramping up its content platform for small business owners. Housed on SBHQ and Staples Canada’s Working and Learning Blog, Staples provides insights on a wide range of topics, including entrepreneurship, technology, workspace optimization, digital marketing, product trends, mental health, productivity and more. Its popular Spotlight Series has gone digital with live virtual sessions each week featuring talks from business owners and experts from across the country.

Lower Prices on Essential Products

To help business owners get back to business, Staples Canada has lowered prices on hundreds of essential business products in-store and at staples.ca. 

Business Services at Solutionshop

Solutionshop provides business owners with an extensive range of essential business services, including digital marketing, graphic design, tech support, health and safety resources, signage solutions, shipping, print services and more. Solutionshop is currently offering free services and discounts on graphic design, website design and printing solutions.

Stores in Toronto, Oakville, Kelowna and Ottawa also feature Staples Studio co-working locations for entrepreneurs looking for office space solutions. Staples Canada has also launched the Let’s Get to Work marketing campaign to support these initiatives.

For more information on how Staples Canada is supporting small businesses and to view the resources that are available to entrepreneurs who are getting ready to re-open their businesses, visit staples.ca/SmallBusinessHQ.

Source: Canadian SME