The coronavirus pandemic has had an extensive and varied impact on local businesses including those in manufacturing, legal, accounting, retail as well as hospitality — some have been impacted negatively, while others positively. In this episode, we take a deep dive into the tourism industry. In Episode 11, Paul and Dave chat with Ryan Burles, president of the Black Ball Ferry Line, about how the pandemic and the subsequent border closure brought their operations to a halt.
Ryan talks about how they are working hard to stay afloat with a skeleton crew. He shares some of the ways that they have tried to help their employees and keep a crew on-board, citing the assistance from the Paycheck Protection Program. He is hopeful that loans like the Main Street Lending Program (with longer term paybacks) will be made available but with the uncertainty around the stigma of travel in a post-Covid world, he has his concerns. However, Ryan believes that their 60-year history, their resilience as a company and the pristine locations from which they operate provide Black Ball Ferry Line with enough optimism about their future to keep calm and carry on. In the meantime, you can support the Black Ball Ferry Line with a purchase of some Coho memorabilia at: https://shop.blackball.com/