Prospectus: How do we cope when a pandemic halts our economy?

OBJ publishes COVID-19 survival guide for Ottawa businesses

In each issue of the OBJ newsmagazine, publisher Michael Curran shares his prospectus for the Ottawa business community. Read the April edition of the newsmagazine here.

Ever since I started to grasp the full extent of the COVID-19 crisis for Ottawa and Canada, I’ve had this phrase bouncing around in my head.

“May you live in interesting times,” the saying goes.

When I first heard the expression, I thought it was a blessing. I later realized that it was a curse.

Regardless of its meaning or origin, the phrase seems appropriate.

The generations before me have faced truly monumental challenges, including world wars and the Great Depression. People in a group younger than the “Greatest Generation” but still my senior might cite a presidential assassination or nuclear standoff as the crisis of their times.

My generation has been largely untested, with the exception of 9/11 and the subsequent 2001 recession, better known in Ottawa as the “tech bubble bust.”

In these early days of the COVID-19 crisis, for the greater good of society, we have nearly halted the economy. It’s without precedent. Jaw-dropping. Unimaginable.

And like the tech bust in Ottawa, I suspect this global pandemic will usher in a new business climate that changes which businesses succeed and fail and even how business is done.

While we’re on that topic...

For the first time in almost 25 years, OBJ will not print and distribute its regularly scheduled publication. We’ve taken this decision for several reasons.

First, our printer has suspended its operations to protect the health of its employees. Second, OBJ’s distribution model is largely dependent on direct delivery to offices, most of which are now closed. Third, OBJ is keeping the best interests of its delivery team top of mind. They, like the rest of us, must abide by public health recommendations to stay sheltered at home.

Although this is disruptive, it’s not bad news.

OBJ has large digital channels that reach more than 100,000 readers per month. OBJ has spent the better part of 20 years building an online readership.

For April, OBJ will produce a digital edition (an online replica of a printed publication) and aggressively promote this flipbook through digital channels. Appropriately, the digital edition is themed as a COVID-19 business survival guide. It will certainly find an audience.

The OBJ.ca website, the OBJToday email newsletter, our social media channels and our YouTube channel will be regularly updated. I might even suggest all of these are more important than ever.

OBJ is committed to quality local business journalism. It remains ready and able to share your stories as together we face a health and economic crisis like never before. Welcome to interesting times.

Read the April newsmagazine

With the spread of the coronavirus creating unprecedented health-care and economic challenges, this month's OBJ offers a COVID-19 survival guide for businesses. Local business leaders provide advice on dealing with issues such as cash flow and communicating with remote workers, and we look at how some Ottawa tech firms are stepping up to try to make the work-from-home experience a little easier. 

For those who are working from home, Techopia features timely tips from Ottawa marketing expert Erin Blaskie on managing work, life and mental health in a trying time.

And be sure to check out the four-page Women in Business 2020 section spotlighting a dozen of the capital's most accomplished female entrepreneurs.