Dundas record shop owner and family face economic impacts of coronavirus

News Apr 03, 2020 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Facebook videos and telephone orders are the new way of doing business for Mike Clasen at Records on Wheels as he, like many, tries to cope with required closures and keep paying the bills.

“I’m doing something. I might as well,” Clasen said. “I might as well come down and try to do something.”

That’s an attitude, in times like the coronavirus crisis, that sets successful entrepreneurs apart, according to research into changes resulting from traumatic events, and how entrepreneurs respond to economic crisis.

Goran Calic, a Dundas resident and assistant professor in McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business, said research indicates there are several ways business owners improve their chances of financial well-being at this time.

“The first thing is to do something,” Calic said. “Those that disengage tend to suffer the most.”

He said Clasen, and Eccles Auto giving customers gift cards to other Dundas businesses, are good examples.

“They’re actually doing something. Some can’t, they’re stuck,” Calic said. “The best thing is to do something. Find what you can do and engage.”

Clasen marked the 34 King St. E. record and CD shop’s 40th anniversary last year. Despite the store being closed to customers, he’s there daily organizing stock, taking telephone and online orders, delivering orders at curbside, and producing Facebook videos.

“I put a lot of different stuff on it … to remind people we can do it all, and we have a lot.” Clasen said.

One recent 40-minute video featured albums ranging from a rare live Jethro Tull record, to new James Taylor, some country, ambient recordings and more.

“It’s working to a point,” Clasen said, adding there’s been a significant drop in sales. Meanwhile, he still has rent and other expenses.

“It makes it hard. It’s the same for everybody,” he said.

Clasen’s knowledge, recommendations and ability to offer rare and different product always set him apart, and he tries to continue providing that service despite changes to business and life.

Calic said that’s another key to surviving financial impacts of COVID-19. He said Clasen doesn’t sell round discs, he provides some underlying service.

“It’s important to identify that underlying value they provide to customers,” Calic said. “Once it’s identified, find a way to provide it in a different way.”

Instead of people dropping in and browsing and getting in-person recommendations, they can watch Clasen’s Facebook videos, then call or email their orders, pay by credit card or through online payments, have the product shipped, or pick it up outside the store.

For small business entrepreneurs, Calic said, psychological impacts — on top of the financial impacts — can be serious.

“Their business is tied to their identity,” he said. “Their personal identity is now in danger.”

Clasen, his wife Anita, daughters Ania, 26, Sonia, 23, and son Daniel, 20, are facing the unknown together.

Anita worked at a Williams Café at McMaster University operated by the university’s hospitality services. Her salary was anticipated to be paid into April, and might be extended longer, then she would be eligible for Employment Insurance.

His oldest daughter, Ania, was working as a substitute teacher for three different school boards when schools were closed.

Clasen has been following federal government announcements to see what small business supports might be available.

He said the Canada Emergency Response Benefit might apply to him. He’s self-employed and has no employees. That program could provide $2,000 a month for up to four months. There may be options for rent deferral — but it still needs to be paid.

“I’ve got enough for a few months of payments. Then it’s going to be critical,” Clasen said.

He knows many small businesses face the same challenges. Clasen would like to see big companies, banks and big landlords do more to help everyone survive. He’s not a fan of relying on the government to support his business.

Seeking out options is an important step, according to Calic. He said entrepreneurs need to find financial supports and resources to ensure security.

“The organization shouldn’t die. Put it on life support if necessary,” Calic said.

He suggested businesses have to be cautious about changing too much. No one knows how long the crisis will last. It’s dangerous to base big decisions on what they hear now.

“Information generated in this environment can be destructive,” Calic said.

He said business organizations, like the Downtown Dundas BIA, can play a role. As a group, entrepreneurs could help each other meet financial commitments.

“There needs to be collaboration,” Calic said. “This is an issue that’s facing every single business. There needs to be a shift from competition to collaboration We’re all competing against the crisis.”

Clasen pointed out, for local small business like those in Dundas, it doesn’t take much to make a difference. They don’t need thousands of customers, or major purchases, to get them through.

In the meantime, Clasen will keep trying to do something. He’ll be at the shop, taking orders, and making videos.

“I’ll be doing a lot more of those,” he said. “It’s a reminder that I’m here.”

Clasen hopes music can play a role in getting people through this difficult time.

“Music does help,” he said. “It’s always helped me through times I needed to keep my spirits up.”


Story Behind The Story: As many people face loss of income during the coronavirus crisis, we wanted to hear their stories and find out how they are coping.

Dundas record shop owner and family face economic impacts of coronavirus

Entrepreneurs have ways to improve odds of #financialwellbeing

News Apr 03, 2020 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Facebook videos and telephone orders are the new way of doing business for Mike Clasen at Records on Wheels as he, like many, tries to cope with required closures and keep paying the bills.

“I’m doing something. I might as well,” Clasen said. “I might as well come down and try to do something.”

That’s an attitude, in times like the coronavirus crisis, that sets successful entrepreneurs apart, according to research into changes resulting from traumatic events, and how entrepreneurs respond to economic crisis.

Goran Calic, a Dundas resident and assistant professor in McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business, said research indicates there are several ways business owners improve their chances of financial well-being at this time.

Related Content

“The first thing is to do something,” Calic said. “Those that disengage tend to suffer the most.”

He said Clasen, and Eccles Auto giving customers gift cards to other Dundas businesses, are good examples.

“They’re actually doing something. Some can’t, they’re stuck,” Calic said. “The best thing is to do something. Find what you can do and engage.”

Clasen marked the 34 King St. E. record and CD shop’s 40th anniversary last year. Despite the store being closed to customers, he’s there daily organizing stock, taking telephone and online orders, delivering orders at curbside, and producing Facebook videos.

“I put a lot of different stuff on it … to remind people we can do it all, and we have a lot.” Clasen said.

One recent 40-minute video featured albums ranging from a rare live Jethro Tull record, to new James Taylor, some country, ambient recordings and more.

“It’s working to a point,” Clasen said, adding there’s been a significant drop in sales. Meanwhile, he still has rent and other expenses.

“It makes it hard. It’s the same for everybody,” he said.

Clasen’s knowledge, recommendations and ability to offer rare and different product always set him apart, and he tries to continue providing that service despite changes to business and life.

Calic said that’s another key to surviving financial impacts of COVID-19. He said Clasen doesn’t sell round discs, he provides some underlying service.

“It’s important to identify that underlying value they provide to customers,” Calic said. “Once it’s identified, find a way to provide it in a different way.”

Instead of people dropping in and browsing and getting in-person recommendations, they can watch Clasen’s Facebook videos, then call or email their orders, pay by credit card or through online payments, have the product shipped, or pick it up outside the store.

For small business entrepreneurs, Calic said, psychological impacts — on top of the financial impacts — can be serious.

“Their business is tied to their identity,” he said. “Their personal identity is now in danger.”

Clasen, his wife Anita, daughters Ania, 26, Sonia, 23, and son Daniel, 20, are facing the unknown together.

Anita worked at a Williams Café at McMaster University operated by the university’s hospitality services. Her salary was anticipated to be paid into April, and might be extended longer, then she would be eligible for Employment Insurance.

His oldest daughter, Ania, was working as a substitute teacher for three different school boards when schools were closed.

Clasen has been following federal government announcements to see what small business supports might be available.

He said the Canada Emergency Response Benefit might apply to him. He’s self-employed and has no employees. That program could provide $2,000 a month for up to four months. There may be options for rent deferral — but it still needs to be paid.

“I’ve got enough for a few months of payments. Then it’s going to be critical,” Clasen said.

He knows many small businesses face the same challenges. Clasen would like to see big companies, banks and big landlords do more to help everyone survive. He’s not a fan of relying on the government to support his business.

Seeking out options is an important step, according to Calic. He said entrepreneurs need to find financial supports and resources to ensure security.

“The organization shouldn’t die. Put it on life support if necessary,” Calic said.

He suggested businesses have to be cautious about changing too much. No one knows how long the crisis will last. It’s dangerous to base big decisions on what they hear now.

“Information generated in this environment can be destructive,” Calic said.

He said business organizations, like the Downtown Dundas BIA, can play a role. As a group, entrepreneurs could help each other meet financial commitments.

“There needs to be collaboration,” Calic said. “This is an issue that’s facing every single business. There needs to be a shift from competition to collaboration We’re all competing against the crisis.”

Clasen pointed out, for local small business like those in Dundas, it doesn’t take much to make a difference. They don’t need thousands of customers, or major purchases, to get them through.

In the meantime, Clasen will keep trying to do something. He’ll be at the shop, taking orders, and making videos.

“I’ll be doing a lot more of those,” he said. “It’s a reminder that I’m here.”

Clasen hopes music can play a role in getting people through this difficult time.

“Music does help,” he said. “It’s always helped me through times I needed to keep my spirits up.”


Story Behind The Story: As many people face loss of income during the coronavirus crisis, we wanted to hear their stories and find out how they are coping.

Dundas record shop owner and family face economic impacts of coronavirus

Entrepreneurs have ways to improve odds of #financialwellbeing

News Apr 03, 2020 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Facebook videos and telephone orders are the new way of doing business for Mike Clasen at Records on Wheels as he, like many, tries to cope with required closures and keep paying the bills.

“I’m doing something. I might as well,” Clasen said. “I might as well come down and try to do something.”

That’s an attitude, in times like the coronavirus crisis, that sets successful entrepreneurs apart, according to research into changes resulting from traumatic events, and how entrepreneurs respond to economic crisis.

Goran Calic, a Dundas resident and assistant professor in McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business, said research indicates there are several ways business owners improve their chances of financial well-being at this time.

Related Content

“The first thing is to do something,” Calic said. “Those that disengage tend to suffer the most.”

He said Clasen, and Eccles Auto giving customers gift cards to other Dundas businesses, are good examples.

“They’re actually doing something. Some can’t, they’re stuck,” Calic said. “The best thing is to do something. Find what you can do and engage.”

Clasen marked the 34 King St. E. record and CD shop’s 40th anniversary last year. Despite the store being closed to customers, he’s there daily organizing stock, taking telephone and online orders, delivering orders at curbside, and producing Facebook videos.

“I put a lot of different stuff on it … to remind people we can do it all, and we have a lot.” Clasen said.

One recent 40-minute video featured albums ranging from a rare live Jethro Tull record, to new James Taylor, some country, ambient recordings and more.

“It’s working to a point,” Clasen said, adding there’s been a significant drop in sales. Meanwhile, he still has rent and other expenses.

“It makes it hard. It’s the same for everybody,” he said.

Clasen’s knowledge, recommendations and ability to offer rare and different product always set him apart, and he tries to continue providing that service despite changes to business and life.

Calic said that’s another key to surviving financial impacts of COVID-19. He said Clasen doesn’t sell round discs, he provides some underlying service.

“It’s important to identify that underlying value they provide to customers,” Calic said. “Once it’s identified, find a way to provide it in a different way.”

Instead of people dropping in and browsing and getting in-person recommendations, they can watch Clasen’s Facebook videos, then call or email their orders, pay by credit card or through online payments, have the product shipped, or pick it up outside the store.

For small business entrepreneurs, Calic said, psychological impacts — on top of the financial impacts — can be serious.

“Their business is tied to their identity,” he said. “Their personal identity is now in danger.”

Clasen, his wife Anita, daughters Ania, 26, Sonia, 23, and son Daniel, 20, are facing the unknown together.

Anita worked at a Williams Café at McMaster University operated by the university’s hospitality services. Her salary was anticipated to be paid into April, and might be extended longer, then she would be eligible for Employment Insurance.

His oldest daughter, Ania, was working as a substitute teacher for three different school boards when schools were closed.

Clasen has been following federal government announcements to see what small business supports might be available.

He said the Canada Emergency Response Benefit might apply to him. He’s self-employed and has no employees. That program could provide $2,000 a month for up to four months. There may be options for rent deferral — but it still needs to be paid.

“I’ve got enough for a few months of payments. Then it’s going to be critical,” Clasen said.

He knows many small businesses face the same challenges. Clasen would like to see big companies, banks and big landlords do more to help everyone survive. He’s not a fan of relying on the government to support his business.

Seeking out options is an important step, according to Calic. He said entrepreneurs need to find financial supports and resources to ensure security.

“The organization shouldn’t die. Put it on life support if necessary,” Calic said.

He suggested businesses have to be cautious about changing too much. No one knows how long the crisis will last. It’s dangerous to base big decisions on what they hear now.

“Information generated in this environment can be destructive,” Calic said.

He said business organizations, like the Downtown Dundas BIA, can play a role. As a group, entrepreneurs could help each other meet financial commitments.

“There needs to be collaboration,” Calic said. “This is an issue that’s facing every single business. There needs to be a shift from competition to collaboration We’re all competing against the crisis.”

Clasen pointed out, for local small business like those in Dundas, it doesn’t take much to make a difference. They don’t need thousands of customers, or major purchases, to get them through.

In the meantime, Clasen will keep trying to do something. He’ll be at the shop, taking orders, and making videos.

“I’ll be doing a lot more of those,” he said. “It’s a reminder that I’m here.”

Clasen hopes music can play a role in getting people through this difficult time.

“Music does help,” he said. “It’s always helped me through times I needed to keep my spirits up.”


Story Behind The Story: As many people face loss of income during the coronavirus crisis, we wanted to hear their stories and find out how they are coping.