March 16th, 2020 - Covid-19

COVID-19 support for businesses

Forget business as usual

Learn how to communicate better and work smarter during the COVID-19 crisis

At least 25% of businesses fail after a major disaster. Given the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, we expect that number to rise dramatically over the coming months.

There are steps business owners can take to protect their business, their employees and themselves, but during a crisis, special rules apply.

I know because I was on the frontlines during the H1N1 pandemic and in preparation for that battle, I wrote Alberta’s Pandemic Communications Plan.  I’ve been trained by the experts from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control.

I care about what happens to our people, our businesses and our economy. I want to help by equipping small to medium-sized businesses with the same access to quality crisis information that larger businesses afford.

To do so, I’m partnering with Jo Williams, a colleague and crisis communications specialist with 25 years of media and public relations experience and an M.A. in Communication Management. Her expertise includes over a decade in public affairs with the Canadian Red Cross as spokesperson on many domestic and international disaster files, which included field assignments at the frontlines of crises in NYC for 9/11, B.C. fires, among others.

Together, we’re assembling a team to support small to medium-sized businesses here in Alberta and around the globe. Our offerings will include:

  • Working pandemic communications plans targeted to individual businesses
  • Media training to company spokesperson(s) during the crisis
  • Client-facing messages, emails, texts and newsletters
  • Pandemic-centric employee policies and communications
  • Brainstorm-sessions to develop creative ways for you to continue business operations during the pandemic
  • Update your website with the right messaging about how you are making changes to support safe environments during the COVID-19 outbreak
  • Educating you on the tools that will help bring your business online
  • Using our network to ensure you have access to experts like employment lawyers, business process specialists, accountants and more should you need them during this crisis
  • Updating clients daily with a COVID-19 newsletter following critical provincial and federal announcements
  • Starting an online business support group, so business owners can connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, ask questions, and be provided live updates on breaking news.

Together, Jo and I are suspending much of our day-to-day business operations to support as many entrepreneurs as we can through this crisis.

For more details, please contact me directly at 403.805.4778 (phone or text message), or Jo at 403.827.9820 or

With gratitude,

Shannon Larkins

Shannon Larkins

Founder, Blackcoffee Studio

Over the course of 15+ years, Shannon has grown Blackcoffee Studio out of a love for building brands and reputations. She serves up Blackcoffee as a morning ritual while caffeinating clients and readers on the regular. You can find her at


Blackcoffee Studio

Blackcoffee is a premium brand development agency, offering luxury brand experience to clients at home in Calgary, Canada and around the globe. Brands create experience, set you apart from the competition and drive growth. Anyone can bulid a business but only the exceptional can create a brand. Are you ready?

Shannon Larkins

Shannon Larkins

Hi I’m Shannon, founder of Blackcoffee Studio. A former reporter, spin doctor and politico, I now focus on using my powers for good.

I create mighty brands for clients and share their stories with the world. I’m also rather addicted to my nutty family, dogs with pushed in faces, Mexico and of course coffee … black.