Like many small retailers, Little Bear, a pet supply store in Westmount, Que., has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Sales are definitely down,” says long-time owner Chuck Altman, BA 02. “There’s reduced foot traffic in the area.”
“It’s a community store that’s evolved with the neighbourhood,” he says. “Most of our customers have been with us for years.
“I try to have what they’re looking for instead of telling them what they need. And if I’m not comfortable giving it to my own pets, I won’t sell it.”
The pandemic has jeopardized that sense of affinity and forced Altman to make some adjustments.
“We’ve been working to increase our online presence since the first lockdown measures were put in place,” he says.
Altman credits his alma mater for providing him with some of the skills he’s needed in these unprecedented times.
“Concordia showed me how I wanted the world to see me. I learned how to deal with setbacks, manage my expectations and become a beneficial member of society.”
Altman wants current students and recent graduates to know that life is full of surprises, so you have to be prepared.
“I always thought I would leave Montreal and pursue film production. I thought working at Little Bear would be a good way to learn about myself until I figured out who I wanted to be when I grew up. Well, I never had to grow up. This is exactly who I want to be.”