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Restaurant Owner Leads By Example

In yesterday’s blog, we discussed the uncompromising ability of small businesses in Canada to hold on to the loyal members of their staffs. In the post-recession era, businesses that employ 50 or less workers have forfeited the least number of job positions, according to a recent CFIB report. Intergral to the growth of the Canadian economy, job security is evidently best supported by small business.

In a recent article, The Vancouver Sun‘s Brian Morton cites Chuck Chamberlain, the owner of Tomahawk Restaurant in North Vancouver, as an entrepreneur who has stuck to his guns by retaining his staff all throughout the recession. Some business owners looked towards layoffs as a method of surviving the world’s financial meltdown. Not Chuck.

The loyalty Chamberlain showed his staff of 21 has not only encouraged a stronger bond amongst the employees, but has allowed for his restaurant to prosper in spite of the economic downturn. Tomahawk Restaurant, evidently, is an establishment that has gone against the grain to rebound from the recession. And luckily for Chamberlain, his plan has paid off.

Explains Chamberlain: “Basically, we didn’t lay anybody off. We knew hard times were coming and the numbers started slowing down. We explained everything to the staff and reassured them that layoffs were not imminent (and) that to lay anybody off was a last resort.”

Instead of firing his employees, Chamberlain found other ways to cut corners and save dollars. Regarding layoffs as the last thing on his list to do in order to save money, Chamberlain discovered that there were other ways to survive the recession. It took some creativity and some careful planning, but battling through the economic crisis with his entire staff kept intact was something he was determined to do.

Said Chamberlain: “We might have reduced the hours a bit to reduce some overhead costs. And we watched pennies and got through it.In the service industry, the last thing you want to do is get rid of staff. It’s like cutting off your nose to spite your face. In all small businesses, you’re only as good as your employees and your employees are only as good as you.”

The show of support, loyalty and dedication to his staff is sure to continue to help Chamberlain go a long way in the restaurant business. The same can be said for many other small businesses owners across Canada who have adopted the same principles.

Morton’s report points out, however, that the nation still has a ways to go before it can consider itself completely recovered from the recession. In the CFIB’s “A Peak At The Trough” report, it was revealed that, last year, the Canadian economy lost approximately 360,000 jobs.

Public sector employment, however, is rising. With this continuing trend, Canada is sure to continue its own trend of returning to economic prosperity quicker than most countries. So to business owners like Chuck Chamberlain across the nation, who are working to spring the country back to financial vitality, we thank and congratulate you. Job well done.

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