We have stopped taking donations at this time, due to the fact that things are getting really, really uncertain and we would rather put the fundraiser on hold than take your hard earned money. Thank you so very much for those of you have helped us thus far, please keep hope, and stay safe.
My name is Todd Klinck, and I am co-owner of Club120 and 120 Diner. COVID-19 has arrived with a vengeance and I'm deeply concerned. I'm not afraid so much regarding the health consequences because I have faith in the Canadian public agencies. I'm afraid that the business myself and my business partner Mandy Goodhandy have been running for 14 years will not be able to make it through these tough times without your help. This may seem premature to be asking for your help, but under the circumstances, I'm putting myself and my credibility out there: and please note, I have never, in my entire life, needed to ask for financial aid.
We do not have 100% faith that the government will aid small businesses either quickly enough or at all. I really wish to be transparent about these important facts:
- some people may think "nightclub and restaurant owners" are wealthy because they may see packed houses at times. As a lot of nightclub and restaurant owners know, we can barely pay our bills each month, or are late paying. Not to mention that we are often bailing ourselves out by using any money we do manage to save. We rely on our day to day operations to survive.
- the insurance companies are hard on nightclubs. In our case, we currently pay more than $2500 per month for insurance, plus an additional $5000 per month in "TMI" (taxes, maintenance and insurance) to our landlord ON TOP of our rent
- hydro and gas bills are outrageous on a building like ours - a more than 100 year old building which we do not own, with poor insulation and a leaky roof and all sorts of other issues
- Our lease comes with a $5,000 per year increase, every single year. And the landlord can arbitrarily increase the TMI each year however much they choose.
- We have always made sure to pay our staff and suppliers in order to keep our venues operating.
The COVID-19 fiasco seems to be updating on an hour by hour basis. It was just announced that events larger than 250 people must be cancelled immediately. Our capacity at Club120 is 150, so in theory we should be good to go. But some of our promoters have already started to cancel things.
Club120 has a history as a safe space for the following communities: trans women, south asian LGBT, black LGBT, middle eastern LGBT, the kink community (queer and not), the franco-African community, latinX and international students, electronic musicians and after hours folks, lesbians, bisexuals, trans men, nudists, burlesque folk, and many more. We are proud to be a vibrant and underground and cutting edge place with a simple mandate: to accept people who want to be themselves.
120 Diner is a venue that is more than a restaurant: it is one of a dwindling group of venues dedicated entirely to musicians, singers, comedians and fundraisers.
A lot of the patrons of 120 Diner may not know, but Club120 is largely responsible for subsidizing and funding the Diner making it possible to continue providing live entertainment. And some of our large events that are normally profitable are just now starting to cancel or postpone their bookings.
If you donate, you are not just contributing to Club120 and 120 Diner, you are contributing to all of the groups and people mentioned above.
I'm trying to keep positive in the face of this crisis, but this one is looking pretty tough. I'm sure we’re not alone and many other small businesses will face tough choices in the next while.
So I come to you, open and honest and raw, asking for your help. I know that not everybody can afford to help our business financially, but if you can, any donations large or small will be greatly appreciated.
TO BE CLEAR: 120 Diner and Club120 are committed to our promoters, our musicians, our singers, our comedians and especially our fundraising events. We will remain open as long as it is allowed by the medical community and we will of course be continuing to take all proper precautions outlined by said community. But as mentioned, even with our commitment, we already are receiving cancellations of major events.
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