Skip to content

Richmond business owners shared tips on overcoming challenging times

Local entrepreneurs think sharing matters more than ever amid the pandemic.

Dozens of Richmond entrepreneurs from different cultural backgrounds gathered for online meetings last weekend to share survival tips on keeping their heads above the water in tough financial times. 

Eric Yang, president of the Canadian Community Action and Restorative Empowerment Society (CCARES), told the Richmond News that sharing matters more than ever. 

"Generally speaking, entrepreneurs of all types face threats of business failures. But for immigrants, they are more likely to encounter more risks due to cultural differences and language barriers," said Yang. 

Business strategies that may have worked well in their home country sometimes don't transfer to success in the local market, explained Yang, adding that the ongoing pandemic has posed additional stress for business owners. 

To empower more business owners to keep moving towards their goals, Yang hosted an online forum last week, inviting various entrepreneurs to share advice and survival secrets. 

Before serving as the president of CCARES, Yang had been running a second-hand furniture store near Richmond's IKEA for more than 10 years. The first several years of that enterprise had been the most difficult time of his life, Yang recalled. 

"My business was in huge debt. I felt like I was going through a dark tunnel on my own, and I wasn't sure when I could see the light. At one point in my life, I was even questioning if the light existed," said Yang. 

Although Yang's furniture store did manage to weather that storm and overcome a myriad of roadblocks, he still thinks he would have benefitted by asking for advice earlier. 

"I wasted too much time figuring out a way out on my own. If I could have reached out to established ones and asked them for help immediately, I would have avoided so many obstacles along the way," noted Yang. 

Yang added that having peer support is critical for business owners since they are not only a source of friendship, it's also strategic to helping businesses grow.