How To Support A Small Business During Covid-19

I’m tired, and I’m cranky, and quite frankly, I’m exhausted. I feel like I’ve got nothing left. No energy, no ideas, not one thing left to give. I’m scared. I’m worried. It all seems too weird, and my mind tries to convince there’s nothing I can do to make a difference.

Like most people, we also had to close our business. For the second time! The first time was in August 2018, after a 7.0 earthquake destroyed our dream in less than a minute. But we never gave up (although I have to admit it was very tempting on some days). ‘Step by step, one foot in front of the other’ became our mantra, and after 1 year of hard work, we reopened the doors of our little paradise.

I Understand That You Are Confused & Scared, So Am I

And then something happened in the world that most of us could have never even imagined. A virus started spreading rapidly across the world, affecting more than 177 countries and putting more than a third of the planet’s population under some form of restrictions (as of 28 March 2020 according to BBC News).

Every day we wake up with new cancellations and refund requests. And it’s okay, I understand that everyone is scared at the moment and that you shouldn’t travel for a while. But I would like to ask you, before you ask for a refund from a small business like ours, please consider postponing your trip instead of canceling.

Do your research and track the situation, but consider taking a beat before overhauling your plans.The situation keeps changing every day, making it impossible to know which parts of the world will be impacted several months from now.

It’s Not Only About Us

I’m so proud and grateful to see that my government is looking after her people and is offering businesses a whole range of options to keep their business alive. Unfortunately we live on a tropical island in Indonesia where businesses don’t get any help from the government and we have to figure out ourselves how to get through this mess.

When our business is running, we are employing 13 staff and with their salaries, they are not only supporting themselves but also their families. With tears in my eyes and a very heavy heart, I sat down with all of them a few days ago and delivered the message that soon we are not able to pay most of their salaries.

I never felt more like a failure in my life. We’ve been through so much together and even during the one year that we were closed, due to the earthquake, we always managed to support them. Now we have to send most of them home with their last paycheck for many months, not knowing when we will see them again.

Love is easy when things are easy, but it’s best when we continue to create it in the center of chaos

I would like to ask you, if you find a tiny space in all this madness—a little slither of light shining through the cracks—to be good to someone, please grab onto it with both hands and throw it wide open. Make someone’s day better. Do the nice thing. Help wherever you can. Give where you have extra, whether it’s money, food, or hope. And please, consider your options before requesting a refund.

The world needs so much right now, but above all else, it needs you and me stepping up to the plate and taking a swing at spreading kindness with every little bit of strength we have.

With love and an elbow high five from Gili Air,

Rose

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