© Photo by Caitlin Abrams of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine
A Q & A With 6Smith Owner Randy Stanley
Q: How can the community best help our local retailers and restaurants
Buy from independent and local businesses as much as you can for everything, hardware stores, retail stores, services, restaurants, etc. Engage with local businesses on social network platforms by liking and sharing their posts. This will keep our local businesses top of mind until we are free to move about again.
Q: What are you currently doing to help offer relief to employees
We are paying health insurance premiums in full for enrolled employees for those that were laid off until at least May 1st. We are supplying a complimentary, daily, family meal for all employees and their immediate family that can be picked up at 6Smith. Managers have been scheduled at the restaurant to provide assistance to employees interested in applying for unemployment. We have established a communication web portal for all employees and managers so that we can share up-to-date, accurate information with them – and them with us.
Q: What advice would you give other struggling local businesses
- Detail an action plan that includes how you will address employees, managers, guests and vendors.
- Lock down your finances and establish a budget to conserve cash for as long as you believe the lockdown will last.
- Budget what you believe it will take to resume business and the plan to restart.
- Call your vendors and landlordto work out a payment plan that will work for both of you. We are all in this together and they have employees too.
- Establish some programs that create a revenue stream while shut down.
- Pay your taxes. While the extensions are great, this debt will never be forgiven and could ruin you if you run out of money before the next deadline.
- Try to avoid borrowing money if at all possible, at least until you are able to reopen and see a predictable revenue trend. Essentially you will be borrowing from your vendors. They may be more inclined to work with you than a bank in case of trouble down the road.
- Be prepared to update your plan – things are changing hourly
- Keep talking to your customers, vendors and employees – especially your employees – even if it’s simply to restate that nothing has changed since you last spoke with them.
- Do what you can to stay top of mind with your customer base with frequency.