Could it be…life again?


The world is coming back to life. I can feel it. I’m sure you can too.
As tulip bunches in pink, purple, and yellow fill the buckets outside the local convenience store, the headlines are about businesses cleared to open, with more to come.
The streets here in Toronto are cautiously busier.
It’s hopeful and wonderful.
Feeling like this, it’s easy to forget about PGB’s maxed extended line of credit, the $40,000 government loan added to our pre-Covid debt, and the tens of thousands of unpaid rent.
I will just arrange another vase of spring flowers and make some butter tarts.
Seriously, it is shocking how the mind can get used to things that before March would have had me at the doctor’s office asking for more anti-anxiety meds.
Who am I kidding, I did ask the doc for more anti-anxiety meds early on in this game – via telephone of course – and she told me, in essence, to chill out. That turned out to be some sage medical advice.
What she should have added was that, with time, all things become normal.
And also, I would add, that touchy feely stuff about silver linings emerging is true.
Yesterday Marilyn forwarded me an email from a UK bank with pretty pictures of frolicking families in their kitchens with the message that “we are all in this together”.
Her comment was, I hate stuff like this, and I agree with her: if she replied to that email with a request for grocery money (not that Marilyn needs grocery money but you get my point…), there would be an auto bounce back email telling her that the sender was a no-reply address.
But still, through all this, I’ve found that it is the tulip plant dropped off by a friend, the leisurely phone calls with friends who usually aren’t phone friends, random FaceTime calls with our sons, and extended dinner conversations with our daughter (nowhere to go!) that have kept me going.
While it is true that financially my business isn’t as strong as it once was, it does feel like there is a lot of support (personal, governmental, the team) to get it back there.
Don’t get me wrong, I know the path is rocky from here.
The management team started our re-opening planning process last week and none of it will be easy.
We are in deep, like every other small business, and it is unlikely we will emerge the same PGB as before.
But we will emerge and that is the best thought ever.

About the author

Jean Blacklock

Jean opened the popular Prairie Girl Bakery in the financial district of Toronto in 2011. She owned and operated the business until it closed in 2021 as a result of the pandemic’s impact on downtown Toronto. Read more about her background in commerce, law, and entrepreneurship here.

By Jean Blacklock


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