Apart from university, I run a fintech startup with several close friends, we were interviewing dozens of businesses when Covid-19 was just starting to spread in Canada, we kept hearing the same things from local business owners like: “How am I supposed to pay my rent?” And “My revenue is gone down the drain, I lost everything” People were watching the news every day, waiting to see what’s gonna happen next wondering when they could reopen shop?
COVID-19 is impacting countless small businesses across the world, it was clear that we all face the same uncertainty.
I got on a virtual call with my team, and we asked ourselves what can we do to help?
After an intense sprint of non-stop coding we put together CovidImpact, an open-source Small Business Care Package which features:
- A curated list of programs to help businesses get the support they need to survive through the crisis.
- Real-time news relevant to Canadian small businesses.
- And a Simulation tool to assess how their business may be affected across various scenarios.
We made this project open source and were blown away by the response. Within a day of launching messages started pouring in, "hey I’m a university professor, let me help with analyzing the impact", "I have an analytics company, let’s tie it in", "hey, can I add a chatbot."
It was nothing short of heart-warming, seeing how, though we were all socially distancing, the entire community was converging. To see more details, check out the video presentation for this hack!