Covid Journal, November 19, 2020
A Call for a ‘Pause’ on Pandemic Profiteers
It seems like it’s a fine line between companies that are ‘essential’ services and corporate interests.
I vote that we should close a large collection of big box shops, especially if they show any presence online.
Best Buy, Mark’s, Canadian Tire, Home Sense, Bed Bath Beyond, etc and large chains like McDonald’s, Tim’s and more.
Shut ’em down!
The inconsistency is killing small/medium businesses across the country.
As to ‘essential’ services like grocery chains, I vote that we need to implement a ‘pandemic pause’ on profiteering if we’re going to convince everyone ‘we’re all in this together’.
That means no dividends allowed and any extra profits have to be plowed into free PPE for employees, employee bonuses for time spent on the ‘front line’ and discounts for all consumers.
If we’re truly ‘all in this together’, let’s cut the crap and start making sure that profiteers are pulling their weight and helping the world emerge from this pandemic.
If they don’t, it’ll unfortunately help fuel people’s notions that we simply are not in this together and that something else is going on.
If we can’t make progress on that front, we need a LOT of social shaming strategies, like this one pulled together by North 99.
On the small business side, we need to demonstrate that we’re absolutely going out of our way to support and sustain local small businesses. Here are a couple of quick ideas:
- A national online and user-friendly database of qualifying small/medium businesses with links to their online ordering
- A national plan to get all of these companies online and into social media spaces so that they can compete with the big boxes
- Free shipping anywhere in Canada, sponsored by Canada Post (paid for by a temporary shipping ‘surtax’ on online giants like Amazon, Wayfair or other giants that are profiteering off the pandemic)
- A tax credit for anyone that chooses to support or invest in a qualifying small/medium business
- Good old protectionism – if ever we needed an excuse to implement some pretty unique protectionist moves, this would be it
We need to REALLY start serious talk about preventing Covid from spreading, but we also have to make sure that we’re delivering consistent plans that are applicable to all companies, not just those who can’t afford to have their hands in the pockets of politicians trying to convince us ‘we’re all in this together’.