As featured in the Times Colonist, May 19, 2020: Taking care of business series. A commentary by the CEO of Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (pise.ca), the tennis analyst for Sportsnet and a former Davis Cup tennis player and Olympic coach for Canada. This is part of our continuing series on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local businesses and organizations.
For all of us, the change came swiftly and initially it felt surreal, like out of a movie.
For those who remember 9/11 vividly there was a similar sense of disorientation and disbelief early on. At PISE we went from posting notices in our facility on March 9 for physically distancing and more frequent handwashing to closing our main fitness centre and gym and laying off close to 50 staff on March 20.
That was a tough day and one I know so many of us have had to manage with great stress and emotion.
Fortunately, our laid off staff have been able to apply for CERB and other subsidies to which we committed to providing some top-up to further assist. It helps for now if the bridge to bring everyone back is not too long.
Management is still in place to work on keeping a not-for-profit charity like PISE financially stable and find solutions to the hundreds of thousands of revenue dollars lost through not being able to run programs or activities until at least June.