Retired CPAs volunteer to help PEI small businesses survive the pandemic

Retired CPAs volunteer to help PEI small businesses survive the pandemic

A number of retired Chartered Professional Accountants on Prince Edward Island are stepping up to guide local small businesses through Covid-19.

Organized by Stephen Murphy of Charlottetown and Bill Thompson of Summerside, Island Small Business Mentors provides free one-on-one mentoring to help entrepreneurs navigate their way through the shutdown. This includes guidance on Federal and Provincial emergency response programs. The service launched on March 31 with eight retired CPA volunteers and has since grown to 10.

In the two weeks since Island Small Business Mentors went into action, they have started working with 20 small businesses including a tourism accommodation provider, a retailer and a hair salon.

In an interview with Atlantic Business Magazine editor Dawn Chafe (below), organization co-founder Stephen Murphy says you can characterize the help companies need into two areas. “First, they want to discuss ways to deal with the uncertainty now, the next 60 days and then into the recovery. Second, they want to discuss the various government programs that may be available to the company and their employees.”

The Covid crisis announced itself to the entrepreneurial world with a resounding slam as thousands of small businesses across Atlantic Canada were forced to close their doors. As the pandemic continues, those shuttered owner/operators wonder if they can hang on long enough to reopen.

More than 98 per cent of all businesses in Atlantic Canada are categorized as small business; 54 per cent are actually micro operations with only one to four employees. Many of those micro operations operate on shoestring budgets at the best of times. Hiring a management coach when they have no revenue coming in isn’t an option.

If you’re a P.E.I. small business owner looking for guidance or a retired CPA who’d like to volunteer with Island Small Business Mentors, contact Stephen Murphy via email: stephen@sfmurphyinc.com.

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