COVID-19 and my small business

The world is gripped in the panic of COVID-19 and it affects us all in some way, large or small. I am lucky enough to be young, healthy and living in a country that decided to take action relatively early, meaning that I don’t know anyone who has caught the disease, nor am I likely to sicken significantly if I did happen to catch it. How it affects me is how it affects my business.

Being the owner of a creatively-based small business means that my income is never steady, but after 8 years of trading I am starting to get a feel for the pattern of things. And what is happening now is not normal. A tentative assessment of my loss of income (required for government assistance) has put that number a reduction of 80%. It is huge. And although I acknowledge the privileged position I find myself in, compared some of my colleagues in other, less-easily-quantifiable creative roles, I know the next few months will be a struggle. I am fortunate that I am eligible for government assistance, but what happens next is murky and uncertain. I will be attempting to use my extra spare time to prepare for a brighter future that I’m not completely certain of the timing of. I plan to still be around, making ceramics after this is all over, but really who can predict the future?

So I’ll be hunkering down in my studio, elated at the extra time available to spend devoted to pursuing new projects and freedom from the usual grind, but also bereft without my usual jammed schedule of making, markets and classes. Being human often involves a complex tangle of contradictory emotion, so I’ll know it’s pretty normal to feel these two things simultaneously and that I’m not alone in these thoughts. Knowing that we’re all in it together has become rather comforting. If you still have a job: please support struggling local business wherever you can. The appreciation isn’t endless, but it is immense.

Lastly, stay safe out there. Much love, Louise

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