Over the last 9-months we've heard a lot of tough stories of hardship from our customers. People with thriving businesses of 100-200 employees reduced to single-digit staff numbers in less than a week. Livery services with a 150+ limousines are down to a small handful now, as well as many entertainment and tourism businesses like restaurants, hotels, and travel agencies that were wiped out overnight.
At Keystroke we had to close our Montreal office and layoff 20% of our staff to survive the year, but survive we did. The story is different for many others. Last week the Ontario government reported that one-third of businesses in this province are not expected to survive this second lockdown. Business groups like the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and the Retail Council of Canada are doing their part, but more must be done.
After almost 27 years, we've learned the business world is a community, interconnected in countless unimaginable ways. Regardless of what industry you're in, you're only as healthy as your customers. When the pandemic first started in March, we tried to help our customers by delivering weekly free training, more flexible support & payment plans, and extended product trials (read more about our initial COVID-19 response HERE). Today's challenges call for a very different response. Even as governments on both sides of the border begin to administer vaccines, we're witnessing daily records shattered for infection rates, new lockdowns imposed, and businesses large & small succumbing to this recession. And the consensus is it will get a lot worse before it gets better. For this reason, the management team at Keystroke is responding differently to this stage of the pandemic, one that is aimed not merely at our customers but the Canadian community in general, and today we'd like to share some of the details.
The 3-Step Plan
Firstly, we've partnered with Canadahelps.org to set up a fund-raising initiative for Q1 that will focus on raising $10,000 for two areas of immediate need – feeding people affected by COVID-19 and helping the elderly. To that end, we've chosen to support Foodbanks of Canada and Second Harvest program, as well as HelpAge Canada, all of which deliver meal programs, groceries, and hygiene products to those affected by COVID-19. Charities like these are having a harder time than normal because demand is higher, and they can't organize in-person events to raise funds.
You can learn more about this campaign at Help in need - CanadaHelps.
The second is to start the ball rolling with an immediate $999 donation today ($333 to each charity involved), and a commitment to donate 50% of all revenue from our new Linktivity Suite of products (including Link2calendar, Link2forms, Link2events, and Link2lists) for Q1 of 2021 or until our fund-raising objectives are met, whichever comes first.
The third part of our plan is to engage our community of customers. Like us, we know many of you are grateful to have survived this pandemic, both physically and financially, and we'd like to facilitate you all to help those who were not as fortunate. To that end, we'd like to invite you to visit our charity page at Help in need - CanadaHelps, and give what you can.
Make no mistake, we're humble to the extent our singular efforts can truly make a difference, but we feel that Keystroke has a role to play in our Canadian business community. Whether our efforts inspire others to follow in kind, or if we only succeed in lightening the load of a few Canadian families in need, we'd consider this initiative a success. Being part of a community comes with the belief that we're stronger together than we are apart. For this belief to rise above the level of a platitude, these words must be met with action.
Today we're taking the first step to act. We hope you'll join us.