2020 in review: President David Smith
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Over the holidays we are given time to reflect on the year. We are reminded of what’s important, what we have to be grateful for, and we’re given a chance to set goals for the following year. I know my list looks very differently than it may have if we weren’t living in a pandemic and I imagine this is the case for many Canadians, especially those who found themselves unemployed, grieving lost loved ones, or struggling financially.
We know these people all too well. Our clients come to us from all walks of life, all classes of society, all races and genders or orientations. The one thing they all have in common is the incredible sense of relief they feel when they find a solution to their debt challenges. Debt can impact anyone at any time. Divorce, illness, unemployment – being unable to pay our debts can happen for any number of reasons, all of which have been heightened in 2020.
The introduction of federal and provincial aid programs like CERB acted like a band aid, offering temporary relief for thousands hit hard financially. The band aid has come off, and people are now trying to keep their heads above water in this second wave of lockdowns.
But we have been here to support them despite all the internal challenges we faced like many other Canadian businesses.
Being a firm that is heavily vested in technology, we were able to pivot quickly after the lock down was imposed in order to ensure that our clients’ experience was not compromised; and for this I’m so proud.
We were able to seamlessly move into serving our new clients through video signing technology, thereby ensuring everyone safety, all while providing a superior customer experience. We were able to facilitate proposal amendments to allow our legacy clients that were impacted by job loss and income reduction to continue on with their proposals.
We were even able to continue to provide our outreach programs to the community, providing financial education workshops to vulnerable Canadians, as well as educating other professionals in the community on insolvency legislation and how Bromwich+Smith can help both them and their employees.
Our vision of normalizing the conversation and being nationally recognized as the leader for Canadians needing debt relief really started to materialize this year
And this year wasn’t just only about simply normalizing the conversation of debt and discussing financial wellness publicly. It was about actively helping individual Canadians restructure their debts through a Consumer Proposal, and helping them to rebuild their worth through no cost financial counselling programs and thrive!
This year I am so proud to report are helping more Canadians restructure their debts and rebuild their worth than in any other time in our history – and this was when the number of people in Canada utilizing our industry’s professional service reduced by almost 40% from the previous year!
What’s more, while the industry reports statistics of 60% of people having success in filing consumer proposals on their debts, we were able to beat that statistic by assisting 75% of our clients to file a consumer proposal and avoid bankruptcy…and this percentage just keep growing month over month.
So yes, 2020 was a year like no other…
People were separated from their loved ones. Many people fell ill with the virus; some recovered while others did not. Weddings were put on hold or cancelled. Businesses closed, and the conversation around the concept of basic income has become front and center in many policy makers’ minds. It was a strange, strange year of unprecedented happenings.
But, my friends, it wasn’t all bad, there was some really beautiful moments too: babies were born, first steps were taken, first words spoken, and first tooths were lost too. And let’s not forget the nearly 13,000 people who reached out to us for help in their darkest hour, and how we were a beacon of light and hope, providing financial guidance and inspiration so that they too could rebuild and thrive again.
So, no, maybe 2020 isn’t going to go down as one of our favorite years, but it sure is going to go down as one of the most impactful and memorable. It’s going to serve to remind us that it’s not about the clothes that you wear, or the car that you drive, or the balance on your credit card or in your bank. It’s about the people in your life, and its about how we make each other’s lives better by being together.
The vaccine is coming, and with it the promise we will be protected from COVID-19. There is hope in that.
For those that suffer with the sickness of overwhelming debt and despondency that is a result of the pandemic, there is hope for you too. Bromwich+Smith was founded on the principle of recognizing the social and emotional impacts of debt, and we understand and can help you settle your debts with a Consumer Proposal.