INSPIRING & CREATIVE STORIES

Out of the COVID-19 crisis arises innovation and creativity - we wanted to share some inspiring stories from the business community.

Acknowledging and Supporting the Positive

With the intent to support our small and medium-sized businesses during these challenging times, and to provide some inspiration on how your business can be creative and adaptable, we wanted to share some ideas from those who are doing just that.

If you’re a business owner that would like us to feature your story, or if you know of a small or medium-sized business that is demonstrating ingenuity, please fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page – we’d love to hear from you and share your story!

Note: the criteria to be acknowledged is that all businesses must adhere to the guidelines set forth by local, provincial and federal authorities as it relates to COVID-19.

HyGenie

Made in Alberta by Trium Inc, an environmental remediation company, HyGenie is a hard surface cleaner made from hydrogen peroxide, a disinfectant effective against viruses. It turns into water once it’s finished cleaning, unlike bleach. hygenie.ca

ToePull

With the virus easily spread by touch, this BC tech company has created a permanent solution for public doors which allows them to be pulled or pushed open easily with one foot. toepull.ca

Caufields Engraving

Based in Vernon, BC, Caufields manufactures engraved ID labels for industrial machinery and electrical businesses but is now making CSA approved face shields with free shipping across Canada. caufieldsengraving.com

Chinook School of Music

If you’ve ever wanted to learn to play an instrument, perhaps now is the time. With in-person classes no longer feasible, this music school quickly pivoted its business model to offer music lessons online. chinookschoolofmusic.com

Alberta Garment

This Calgary-based business typically manufactures coveralls and other essential workwear for oil and gas and construction workers, but is now also producing hospital-grade masks, gowns and other protective items for medical workers. albertagarment.com

Driverseat Calgary

This newly opened franchise business, which offers chauffeur and shuttle services for parties and weddings, quickly shifted gears and now offers free grocery shopping trips for seniors and charges $30 to all others for the driving, shopping time and delivery services. driverseatinc.com/calgary

GearHalo

This Edmonton-based company typically makes deodorizing pods used for sprucing up sports equipment, but now the company has pivoted to produce barrier masks for health-care workers. gearhalo.com

Spirit of York Distillery

Instead of its usual vodkas and gins, the company shifted its Toronto production facility toward something Canadians have been emptying from store shelves: hand sanitizer. spiritofyork.com

Kensington Wine Market

Moving to convenience in support of the Calgary Food Bank, it is selling Wine (i)Solation Survival Six Packs with $10 going to the charity. It also offers a 10% discount on all Alberta made beer, mead, cider and spirits. kensingtonwinemarket.com

Fresh Kitchen

This Calgary eatery and catering company has launched their Relief Packages; each week features a new menu of wholesome food that feeds a family of four for two days at an affordable price. freshkitchen.ca

Myant

From biometric clothing that enables the remote monitoring, triage, and care of patients to antiviral masks and gloves for essential service workers, Myant is delivering textile-based solutions to address issues arising from  COVID-19. myant.ca

TELUS Spark

Curated from STEAM community leaders, it’s new Spark from Home program includes DIY experiments and citizen science and innovative online challenges – perfect for online student learning. sparkscience.ca

Harmac Pacific

A Nanaimo, BC mill that produces cedar pulp is for the moment, focused on using this specialized pulp to churn out medical masks and gowns. harmacpacific.com

Glenbow Musuem

The museum is closed but is offering free online curated content, with separate viewings for adults and children. Glenbow from Home

Mustang Survival

This BC maker of life jackets and survival suits has jumped into the COVID-19 crisis to manufacture life-protecting hospital gowns for the province’s health workers. mustangsurvival.ca

Little Rock Printing

Based in Calgary and serving Western Canada, this printing company now makes retail protective shields, physical distancing floor decals and face shields. theallinprinter.com

Hippo Hug

This Calgary manufacturer of weighted blankets has shifted production to making reusable cotton face masks. hippohug.ca

Novo Textiles

Much needed N95 respirators will now be produced in Coquitlam by this textile company which normally produces pillows and dog beds. novotextilesco.com

High Fitness

Co-founded in Calgary with self-employed fitness instructors across North America, High Fitness is now live streaming free workouts for both loyal attendees and to encourage new people to try in the comfort of their homes. highfitness.com

Fuse33 Makerspace

This community workshop is using 3D printers to make face shields for both healthcare staff and frontline workers. Three of the parts are made at Fuse33 and then sent to helpingalberta.com who is collecting them for distribution. fuse33.com

Earls Restaurants

The restaurant chain launched Earls Grocery, a market of items that include everything from home essentials to fresh ingredients to fully prepared meals. Plus it offers 20% off on all Earls Grocery items when you pick up. earls.ca

AG Hair

This Vancouver hair product manufacturer has pivoted to produce hand sanitizer gel and spray that kills 99.9% of germs. Approved by Health Canada and the FDA, first priority is supplying health authorities and then sales to the public. aghair.com

Phillips Brewing

This Victoria brewery normally uses its 3D printer to make prototypes for parts to use in the brewing process, but is now using the technology to produce parts for much needed face shields. phillipsbeer.com

Little India

A Toronto institution, Little India restaurant is offering free meals to anyone in need – no questions asked. It has also set up a pay-it-forward option on its website where people can donate funds to cover free meals for others. littleindia.ca

Cowan Graphics

A family-based Alberta business, this printer has created physical distancing floor decals for retailers across the country along with sneeze guards for checkout lanes. cowan.ca

Local Laundry

This apparel company has created a zip-up hoodie celebrating all the COVID essential workers. Manufactured in Canada, 100% of profits will be donated towards the Calgary Community Response Fund for COVID-19. locallaundry.ca

London Drugs – British Columbia

The company has taken 800,000 boxes of cookies to sell in-store or online to help the Girl Guides who cannot sell door-to-door. In the coming days the cookies will be available through all its stores across Western Canada. londondrugs.com

Brauerei Fahr

This Calgary-based brewery has created coronavirus-related t-shirts with a portion of all sales going to Meals on Wheels and Brown Bagging for Kids in Calgary. fahrstore.com

Burwood Distillery

Burwood is making hand crafted WHO-approved hand cleanser. It’s available for purchase at a reasonable price and the company has also donated to those in need like Vecova Disability Services. It updates its social networks daily with availability. burwooddistillery.ca

Annex Ale

Concerned with how to keep the company afloat and pay its staff, Annex Ale has partnered with two other local distilleries to produce sanitizer. It will be giving some of the sanitizer away as well, donating it to organizations like the food bank and homeless shelters. annexales.com

Minhas Saks Distillery

The Saskatchewan-based distillery is now producing high strength hand sanitizer (75% alcohol) based on the WHO recommended recipe. The company has also stated that “unless forced by law, we are not going to lay off any of our employees … and in fact, in these difficult economic times, we are going to hire more employees.” minhassask.ca

Camp Hoo-ha

Hosting skill-building events for women, complete with badges and booze, Camp-Hoo-ha has had to rethink how to bring campers together without being together. Social events have moved online (the first one was Wine-Ed), still embracing the spirit of the gathering and even allows campers to order their badges online. camphooha.com

Skunkworks Distillery

Skunkworks Distillery is being efficient and socially responsible by using the distilled product that doesn’t make the cut for its moonshine into producing much needed hand sanitizer, which it is giving away to anyone who needs it. skunkworksdistillery.com

UNDRCARD

This boxing studio with locations in Calgary and Toronto has closed its studios but are offering complimentary online streaming classes. The classes are designed so that no equipment is necessary. They are also offering a 30-day challenge to up the incentive. See the schedule.

Brekkie Cafe

This diner-style cafe in West Springs is asking people to test their culinary skills with their DIY kits for some of their imaginative, chef-driven breakfast food. Partakers are encouraged to take photos of their work and and show them off on social media for a chance to win a free DIY kit. brekkie.ca

Neil Zeller Photography

Photographers like Neil are practicing safe physical distancing measures while also capturing this unique time in history for Calgarians. Forgoing the typical studio or outdoor setting Neil instead is taking portraits from the comfort of your front window or porch. Sign up here.

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