Climbing and small business Covid Challenges

April 18, 2020
staff at hub climbing, mississauga

April 16, 2020

Small businesses, particularly in the recreation, restaurant and tourism sector, may end up shouldering a disproportionate cost for the current lockdown.

We at Hub Climbing have closed our two climbing gyms to help protect our community from Covid-19 here in Southwestern Ontario. We are proud to have been able to help, but are concerned that small businesses like ours may end up shouldering a lot more than our fair share of the cost.

I hope that those of you with small businesses, whether in restaurants, tourism, fitness or recreational share your concerns with your provincial and federal government representatives. The time to speak up is now.

Steven Brown, steven@hubclimbing.com, owner, Hub Climbing

Banking:

It’s not working.

  • It’s unfair to ask small business operators to take on more personally guaranteed debt to be able to pay our fixed costs while we are forced to close. We are helping society and yet are being forced to be individually liable.
  • The Federal $40,000 loan offers a conditional $10,000 subsidy which is not even sufficient to cover one week of our rent bills.
  • Notwithstanding the low amount of money offered, the thresholds for this program unfairly disqualify a lot of small business owners.
  • BDC, the Crown’s own bank, charges small businesses the standard interest, principal and admin fees still despite mandatory closure.  As of this writing, they offer less Covid-19 help than the chartered banks.

Insurance:

Are we getting the coverage we paid for?

  • Our insurance does not honor the business interruption coverage we paid for. Our businesses have been interrupted due to no fault of our own. We paid for business interruption for a case just like this. What is the government doing about this?
  • Zero refunds have been offered for our years of good-will payments towards business interruption. Where has that money gone?
  • Small business operators should check if their insurance requires they visit their closed premises every 72 hours or will not cover property claims. Don’t assume you are covered just because you pay your premiums!
  • The insurer has not provided any refund on prepaid dues even though their risk of liability approaches zero. Why are they not passing on the savings from lowered risk while we are all closed?

Our People:

The 75% subsidy is not helping yet. But don’t disband it too soon either.

  • Our people have been furloughed. Many have mortgages and rent and this was the most heartbreaking thing we have ever been forced to do. We maxed out our line of credit so we can pay them a bit longer but in reality it barely helped them at all. We feel so helpless on this one.
  • 75% wage subsidy: Many small businesses won’t even qualify but if they do, the business owner must wait 4-6+ weeks for payback. Many small businesses often don’t have cash reserves to front this cash. If we had the cash it would go to pay down debt, not to a chest of cash. This wage subsidy does not work for many of us.
  • Even if we could use this program to help keep staff employed we don’t know how to afford the 25% while there is low to no revenue for weeks, months or even years. With no revenues come in, paying even 25% of payroll for long enough will kill any business.
  • I hope the government does not prematurely stop this 75% wage subsidy when we can re-open. Until a vaccine is found, we could see months of closures and/or reduced demand for high touch-point businesses. Wage supports will be important in future months and perhaps years to avoid layoffs and bankruptcies.
  • I am curious Why 75%? Why not 100%? We are 100% closed, not 75% closed.

Will unique small businesses be able to re-open?

If we all make it through this cash crunch, these potential governmental oversights could destroy us.

  • A one-size-fits-all hygiene standards model for re-opening. Many of us won’t be able to re-open unless this is thought through carefully. In our case, we cannot climb up a 49 foot dragon after each customer touches it to spray each climbing rock down! 
  • Which brings up the big question: Who coordinates community input on what re-opening hygiene standards should be? I have not been able to find any government committee or department to help make sure that we properly balance contagion reduction while keeping also in mind small business sustainability. If the federal government simply tasks the Health Ministry to come up with rules who will speak for all these unique businesses? Is the Health Ministry going to make exclusions for movie theaters or require them to wipe down each seat after a showing? Will they think of climbing gym operators? Will they think about trampoline parks or the myriad other unique operations in our province?
  • I hope they avoid Arbitrary rent abatement for only some small business sizes. I just saw news from Germany that if you run a 9,000 square foot, or smaller, “small business” you can get a rent subsidy. Many small operators rent 15,000-35,000 square feet units. Please don’t arbitrarily cut us off!
  • Visitation quotas. If small businesses are forced to re-open with limits to attendance, our revenues will be lower than our original business model and financial plan required. How can a restaurant survive if they can only let a fraction of traffic in, but have the same fixed costs? How will fitness gyms cover their costs? How will airlines make their margins with a plane only 20% occupied?

Rent:

Rent deferrals are another type of loan we may be asked to shoulder.

  • Small landlords are in a particularly hard position too. They are not the bad guys, they didn’t cause this virus or lockdown. How will they get assurance that they will be able to cover their own payments? The government’s silence here just ratchets up the pressure that small landlords face and it is us small businesses who they will pass their stress on to.
  • Rent deferral (which may small businesses are currently facing) just puts the pressure on small businesses to pay back yet another sort of “loan”.  We hope that future government solutions properly help the landlords so that these don’t trickle down to us. Many of us small businesses cannot make back the revenue that we lost on the days we closed down.
  • We’ll likely be seeing 6-18 months of rolling closures and probably a lower consumer demand level for our services. Consumer purchasing activities especially in high-touch businesses may be depressed. We can expect break even will be very difficult for many small businesses. We and especially our government leaders need to think about this economic situation not in terms of weeks but in terms of months and years.

 hashtag#covid19 hashtag#smallbizowner hashtag#smallbusinessstrong hashtag#climbing # hashtag#equity hashtag#smallbusinessowner hashtag#government hashtag#trudeau hashtag#robford hashtag#restaurantowner hashtag#tourismindustry hashtag#recreation

Closure- Covid19 Spread Prevention

March 13, 2020
Dear Friends,

As a community we need to slow down the rate at which people get sick so we don’t overburden our health care system.   Please consider additional actions to reduce your participation in high density social situations levels in the near future.

Although there are no known cases of the Covid19 virus spreading throughout our community, we have decided to close both Hub Climbing gyms beginning Saturday March 14, until further notice.

Our community is the heart of who we are and the well-being of our members, guests, and staff and their families are at the top of our minds.

Members:
Prepaid (Annuals and 1-month) and month-to-month members (EFT)  will have their expiry dates extended by the number of days the gyms remains closed.  There will be no freeze-fees incurred while the gym is closed. Other programs and events.  This is an incredibly scary time for small businesses too, so our default is to credit you.  However if your financial situation requires full repayment just let us know, we will accommodate you. Adult and Youth Programs (including belay and lead lessons) All classes are postponed until further notice.   Accounts will be credited corresponding to the lost sessions. Yoga: Postponed until further notice. March Break Day Camp: Camp is cancelled. Customers will be credited for payments received, which can be used for services once we re-open.

Other Events: All bookings for school groups, birthday parties, and other events are cancelled until further notice. Customers will be credited for payments received, which can be used for services once we re-open.

We know the strength of the Hub Climbing community will carry us through this challenge and thank you for your patience and support.   We look forward to be able to see you again as soon as possible.

Sincerely,
Hub Climbing March 13 2020

Kids Birthday party places in Oakville and Mississauga 2020

February 22, 2020
Blocs meet climbing in an unforgettable party setting

Kids Birthday party places in Oakville and Mississauga 2020

For children from 4 to 12 years of age updated for 2020

Our climbers and their kids do about every other sport imaginable and enjoy so many other venues that we feel its a good service to attempt to share some of the cool stuff we’ve seen around Oakville and Mississauga!  If you are interested in a rock climbing birthday party, we have lots of information on that too, here!  Below is our list of kids birthday party places for 2020.

Mississauga and Oakville offer many birthday party places but  sometimes it’s tricky to find memorable party ideas for older kids.  To help you select the perfect place we’ve listed a few ideas below.

Trampoline Birthday Party Places
  • Staff take care of your kids and your guests have time to relax
  • Generally are stress free parties
  • Kids jump around in different themed areas such as foam pits and trampolines and get to be kids
  • All the mess is taken care of by staff
  • Digital party invitations are usually included at no extra cost.
  • Mississauga Examples: Sky Zone,and in Oakville: Aerosports
Indoor Archery Parties
  • This place offers a Huge Nerf wall (biggest in the country!) for kids and adults parties.  In Mississauga, Battle Archery fits the bill nicely!
Arts and Crafts themed Parties
Indoor Parachuting
  • Here’s your chance to experience skydiving without having to fall out of a plane!    Oakville’s iFly includes private party rooms.
 Rock Climbing
  • Kids love rock climbing!
  • Almost every child can do it as no separate skill or strength is required.
  • DO request a separate kid’s area with climbing routes designed just for those little ones with a shorter reach.
  • DO ask for roped climbing, where your harness is secured by rope to an anchor point.
  • DO ask for large rooms and comfortable space for your guests.
  • Ask if the facility allows you to bring your own food or only allows you to eat the food they serve on site.
  • If you haven’t already been to one, ask us or click here to learn more about Hub Climbing’s fun birthday parties here.

Holographic Sticker

February 2, 2020

Looking for new stickers?

If you haven’t seen the new holographic stickers from Stickermule, you have to check them out here: https://www.stickermule.com/products/holographic-stickers

We picked up an order to test out the new logos we requested for the Markham and Mississauga climbing gyms.  We are excited to hear what everyone thinks of them.

They make the logo come to life and shimmer under different lighting.  These would be cool to put on outdoor gear.  They are kind of a reflector built in to the sticker so they are useful to hikers and climbers, just beyond aesthetics.

I snapped a quick pic   They are made with super strong material though and won’t rip very easily like some stickers we’ve picked up in the past.   The quality is very high.

 

Reel Rock screening

January 13, 2020

Thanks for coming out to the Hub Climbing Mississauga Reel Rock 14 screening!  It was a big event on the top of the climbing gym’s mezzanine and thanks to you went off great!

reelrockpicinsta1 reelrock1

Bouldering Climbing challenge

January 4, 2020

Bouldering Traverse wall – advanced level climbing challenge. Check back on Monday we’ll make the traverse to beginner-intermediate level as this one was pretty difficult!

Guest setters helping out with the OCF Training Camp
@alexandermegos @dcroutesetting @lucasuchida

Hub Climbing Mississauga  serving Oakville, Mississauga, Brampton and Toronto areas

Reel Rock 14

November 1, 2019

Bouldering League Season 2 begins

October 3, 2019

2 for 1 weekday daypasses extended till end of August

July 21, 2019
Start Your Climbing Adventure Today at Hub Climbing, Canada’s LARGEST Climbing Gym, right here in Mississauga! 🧗‍♂🧗‍♀ Whether you are a beginner or expert climber.
Play exciting games on our video game wall 👾, and race your friend up the speed wall ⏱! Or if you are really daring Climb our 49 foot tall pet dragon 🐉
It’s up to you to decide what you’ll climb in our 30,500 sq. ft facility 💪🏼 •
Valid Monday - Friday, holidays excluded. Adult regular price day passes only. Rental gear not included. Both climbers must be present at the same time. Same day use required. Mississauga location only. Valid until August 31, 2019. •

Bouldering League Begins!

July 21, 2019
bouldering in mississauga

Bouldering League is ON!  This is a great opportunity to learn to climb with friends of all experience levels.

This bouldering league rewards you for your progress so sign up now!!    Email brandon@hubclimbing.com to register