Variant Edition Comics: A Stony Plain Road Business’ response to COVID-19
Variant Edition Comics is one of the many businesses on Stony Plain Road that have quickly adapted to the new normal that is associated with COVID-19. For Danica and Brandon, owners of the comic and graphic novel shop, they started their business with a simple idea: comics should be for everyone. In August of 2016, Variant Edition Comics moved to their current location on Stony Plain Road at 10132 151St. This new location allowed them to expand and change from a store with a dream to a community with a purpose. Together, with their wonderful customers, they built a space where a wide variety of stories are experiences and enjoyed – and where all are welcome!
Since the COVID-19 outbreak in Edmonton, Variant Edition Comics has been quick to communicate with their customers. As of March 18, 2020, the store has confirmed they will be closed on Mondays in addition to their usual Tuesdays. They will be open Wednesdays to Sundays, with regular hours until further notice. Brandon and Danica will be switching who is working in the store, and who is working from home. This will be done to keep things running both in-store and online, as well to limit their time out and about.
The store will be offering their usual $4.00 delivery but are waiving the fees for all purchases over $30.00. This delivery covers all of Edmonton, and surrounding areas will be served, but at less frequent intervals. Please contact them about timing. There is also an option for curbside pickup for customers who are not comfortable with coming into the store, with a portable payment option. The store will continue with their usual cleaning regimen.
An interesting feature that Variant Edition Comics will be doing for their customers is offering flexible self-quarantine packages for customers who might not know what they want to read but are bored nonetheless while in self-isolation. Danica and Brandon will work within your budget and package up a selection of graphic novels you might find interesting based off a few questions regarding the feel of what you’re looking for! They will also be running a daily 15-minute check-in video, streaming to their Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube pages. These will take place Thursday to Sunday at 3:00PM MST, and Tuesday to Wednesday at 8:45PM MST.
UPDATE: Diamond (the only single issue comic distributor) announced on March 23rd that they will not be sending any new product to shops for the foreseeable future, asking publishers to stop shipping product to them. While this means Variant Edition (and all other comic stores) will not be getting single issue stories from Diamond in the near future, Variant Edition WILL be getting in any and all new and old graphic novels from other distribution sources, and service will remain uninterrupted.
Resources for Businesses:
Government of Canada
The federal government’s Resources for Canadian Business page provides one-stop info for business and employees. Read more
Corporate Income Tax
• The Alberta government has deferred corporate income tax balances and installment payments from March 19 until August 31, 2020. Read more
• The Alberta government has provided support measures to allow commercial customers to defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days, regardless of service provider. Read more
Business Loans and Credit
• The federal government has announced that they will increase the credit available to small, medium, and large Canadian businesses. A new Business Credit Availability Program will provide more than $10 billion of additional support to businesses experiencing cash flow challenges through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada. Read more
•The federal government announced that the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) will lower the Domestic Stability Buffer by 1.25% of risk-weighted assets, effective immediately. This action will allow Canada’s large banks to inject $300 billion of additional lending in to the economy.
• ATB Financial small business customers can apply for a payment deferral on loans and lines of credit for up to 6 months.
• ATB Financial small business customers can access additional working capital.
• ATB Financial agriculture and other business customers can access support on a one-on-one basis. Read more
• Customers of other banks should check with their bank provider, as Canada’s large banks have confirmed support, but have not yet released details. Read more
• The City of Edmonton is examining property tax relief measures.
• The City of Edmonton is examining business tax relief measures.
• The City of Edmonton is examining BIA levy relief measures.
• The Alberta government has said that charitable and non-profit groups will immediately receive an additional $60 million to support seniors and other vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
• The federal government will provide eligible small businesses a 10 per cent wage subsidy for the next 90 days, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Read more
*If you are planning on closing your business temporarily during the COVID-19 outbreak, please alert EPS by calling 311 so they can keep an eye on your business.*